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officers, you know, he pulled that liaise with each other and things like that on the payroll. and somehow people actually learn things to some accent and did things. nowadays they have all this blow. anyway, the class that i'm sure you've all read online, don't give it time for the mney is david calls the educated class by which i think david means not everybody went to college, but it's more like people i knew at school. they've stuck with the obama democrat. other well-educated or higher income people, probably less so. not huge defections. but what's really happened is we seen as we seemed to widen a note of the vast middle of the
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american electorate come in the middle income, theiddle and education. people who work in the panama or an begin to wonder at a stimulus package for one third of the money goes to public -- to save local governments, which is to say to subsidize coming to inflate from the recession members of public employee unions, public unions gave the democrats $400 million to pick up 300 billion by consent decree but turned for the people live in unions. it's been good for the democratic party. not so clear that it's been good for the ordinary citizen. at least the ordinary citizen doesn't think so. when you look at those numbers in virginia, when you look at them in new jersey, when you look at them in, all states obama carried by his national average or better, you just do the math turning whiter. and i think the question for the future is that the people who are like the -- are the republicans if they get a majority in the house, if they get a strong bargaining position in the senate, are they prepared
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to advance and perhaps achieve public policies that are going to work as public policy and that are going to commit voter ovations in subsequent elections. i think that's an open question. if they of. it's field politics are not assured of success. i do think however that in more than any other time i've been following polics, voters are open to a vast cut back in the size and scope of government in a way that they haven't had in most past years. they are aware that the obama mocrats have hugely increased it. minority leader john peters called the other day to say let's go back to 2008 spending levels. it's actually at the intelligence staf in the right direction because most people will say, you know, we actually work starting in 2008. the government could operate through the social security checks for now. i do it get along again with that level of spending because those few of his country would
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be very happy to have their 2008 incomes and housing values back again if they could meet a deal. it's not clear what having government employees have to face the situation is so unfair and unjust for most ordinary people outside the public sector don't have it. i am heartened by the success politically of such policies in place is like indiana, minnesot with republican governors, other republican governors of virginia and new jersey. and if you want to feel up sunday to watch the latest chris christie vide led by the response so far to the big cuts in spending proposed by the u.k. conservative led coalition government. for the period of open field politics. i can't care to success, but i do feel that i agree with richard viguerie. when he was the public in the past which i took the government pay for health care?
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they'd say well sure, you know, why not. it wasn't going to happen anytime soon, so because you had republican congress to have bush and they're ming with reagan, wasn't going to happen to be didn't consider it. but face the reality, with the realistic assessment of vast increase in the size and scope of government, american voters are saying no. and that's something we didn't know for sure two years ago. we know it's pretty good certainty now and the question is can they take advantage of the opportunities that present? [applause] >> thank you. now that was optimism. that was worth -- will we still have a problem and unfortunately it can't be done to all the people here with white hair.
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that's why we have one young person here, the only reason we have here is each has his father was at sharon. sharon is in connecticut, by the way. his father wasn't a big optimist either come to think of it. but anyway, we have a fellow i've gotten to know where he is an editorial writer for the "washington times." he's a contributing -- contributor to the american theater. i do know he has an optimistic. we've had many arguments in the past, but he's a very bright guy and the kind of guy we need for th future. quint hillier. [applause] >> thank you very much, don.
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i also want to think about this conference together, wayne thorburn, roger ream, richard viguerie, think the publisher of the american spec tater who was my boss at the times and is also a sponsor here. i want to think somebody owes the care. but through the 70's and 80's was one of the biggest friends that he asked could ever have and who was probly has not gotten the attention that she deserved for being a phenomenal leader and the u.s. congress for three decades, who's sitting right here in the front row. and i've just got to say how much all of it congressman phil crane has done for the cause. [applause] [alause]
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i've got to say one of the really early thrilled by head when i was enacted in politics as a young guy with cp had a guest there wasa young republican national convention in new orleans where i'm from and standing on a riverboat going down the river and congressman crane was there and was so approachable and he will remember it come up and i remember it to this day comes thathey're talking to me for the longest time, drinking a beer as if he had nothing better to do than talk to this college kid. and again, thank you, congressman crane. [applause] also one other shout out.
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my fellow yaf word member at georgetown university in the mid-80's and fellow fresan dorm for who we were in the same freshman dorm for, fellow iter, he is fed by a heck of a lot more people across this country than i did and is done great things to the conservative cause. my friend tried murdoch who spoke earlier. [applause] were taught as journalists not to bury the lead. and since it's going to be sort of a complicated mood fore to get back to her and going to eventually take this little talk so as to not bury the lead, my answer to the topic today, which is the future of freedom is an answer that philosophically and practically might be and should
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be anathema to conservatis. but it might end up being what happens in the next couple of years. and my answer is the future of freedom might unfortunately or fortunately lie with judges. if you keep that in mind as they go through this. what got me thinking about this rodabout way that i'm going to get back to judges is an article by jeffrey andersen and the weekly standard a couple weeks ago, where he nted that in numerous filings and papers that the obama administration, but the state department has filed within a national organization with the united nations, that the only time that they ever mentioned, even an obvious context where they should be mentioning either the constitution or in this case the declaration of independence, the
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only time they mention it is to cite the one line from the declaration, the decent respect to the opinions of mankind. ey don't fire. you know, truths that are self-evident, they don't cite any available rights. they don't find the consent of the governed. these are respect to the opinions of mankind. and what they mean by that is completely out of the context of the declaration of independence. in context with the declaration was saying wathat in order to explain why we are separating ourselves to that separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's god entitle us, in order to explain that and in order to secure right, life, liberty, pursuit of
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happiness and to ensure the consent of the governed, that a decent respect to the opinions of mankind says that we should explain ourselves. it doesn't say we should he subjugated to the opinions of mankind. it was to explain to the rest of mankind what were doing in the coming separate, equal, independence citizens of a free state guarantees right. that's not what these people are about. all of this optimism about the coming elections is what might happen in the short term. if we look atthe future of freedom, we need to look at what's going to happen if conservatives, if republicans, many of whom are conservatives actually majorities in both
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houses is the counterattack it's going to come. and the counterattack that's going to come is going to come through and it illustrations that is still entrenched in the executive branch, so entrenched in executive agency, in the administrative agencies and that is absolutely determined to throw off the idea of individual rights and the consent of the governed being hat creates and dries the goernment. but instead it's going to be dedicated toward the opinions of mankind, towards hing like the treaty and the international criminal court and the international convention for the rights of the child, the lacey act which makes u.s. citizens
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subject to foreign environmental laws and someone. and that domestically, but administratively they will be enforcing, through regulations, through sometimes extralegal administrative action, things designed to please the international eles to which they give bad things. and this has come up in court battles and in arguments about supreme court opinions, on matters ranging from the death penalty, life imprisonment, juvenile justice. so on down the line. you see more and more references
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to foreign law, to explanations of why, you know, the evolving standards of decency mean that our constitution supposedly guarantees certain outcomes that are not in the contition, but the standards of decency are standards of decency defined in zimbabwe and law and in brussels that in places like that. and what you're going to have, i believe, is a furious battle that goes on between a congressional anch, which has, we hope, at least one house controlled by the non-obama policy regime and am absolutely
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determined and in some cases, lawless administration that is absolutely insistent on having their way. we have, unlike any other president before, even jimmy carter, we have people who do not think that our rights are guaranteed a nature and nature's laws and they are not god-given. they are into lena kagan, now supreme court justice elena kagan's doled out by the government, that is a quote, doled out by the government. and what's the other one?
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at governments can recalibrate speech rights recalibrate speech rights in order to ensure what somebody in the judiciary considers to be fairness. you're going to have battles between congress and the administrative agencies, between independent agencies that the u.s. civil rights commission which is dominated until only december by conservatives after which it goes back to 44, but she'd seen their fight with the new black young other, intimidation case and others. using congressman writing letters, demanding answers on a host of issues and getting stiffed by the justice department. he's got the justice department ignoring subpoenas, ignoring
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valid subpoenas that by law they have to abide by. and so on and so forth, that's already started. if you have a majority of republicans approved a majority barely are conservatives, you are going to have battles over subpoenas, battles over regulatory rulings like the one with the epa is just doing an end run and congress want to cap-and-trade so we will. with the national what is it labor relations board is poised to do an end run around the card check, the failure in their minds of congress to implement card check, so they're going to a version of car checked again and administratively. and you could have a battle royale, a constitutional battle
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royale and that constitutional battle royale will end up in the courts. which is why, for better or worse, the future or freedom lies with judges. and right now, the judiciary is teetering. it's teetering. we have a pair majority, which is based in the supreme court, which is based on justice anthony kennedy's wins 55% conservative and 45% liberal. so that narrow margin and lord help us if we don't keep all four of the other solid conservatives plus anthony kennedy for the next several
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years. we have at the circuit level getting very close to a 50/50 balance. and depending on what circuit some of these arguments, some of these battles go, that a lot of cases to reachhe supreme court and you could see -- you cold see the administrative agencies winning when congress has not given them the authority and never did give them authority. you could see u.s. congressman been subject when traveling abroad to the international criminal court. you could see all sorts of horrors if the judges rule wrong. so, don devine said i was optimistic here if this doesn't sound very optimistic. what ends up happening is this,
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and it's the only chance, if somehow the current trends go on and we do too well in these elections, we cannot as conservatives rest on our laurels. we cannot stop fighting. we cannot let -- let the dominant voices in the medi immediately start hoping the obama administration and company do a counterattack. we need to keep making t case to the public. because if you get to a battle of iraq obama discrediting courts, which is already tried to do with the speech, with his state of the union speech, with his constant attacks on the citizens united case, et cetera, if that are, you could even get to a point where barack obama
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that goes with it andrew jackson who says judges have made their ruling, let them enforce it. if that happens, the only way that conservatives and constitutionalists hold sway is that the public is still enough engaged and still not sold on what should be their natural birthright, busold on the ideals of free towns that are guaranteed by the people, through their government, not grand by their government to the people, that they get to a point where barack obama says that an enforce it, but people say back those that are trying to enforce it. and so, we need to keep on
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fighting the declaration, citing the constitution, educating the public, talking about constitutional issues in a way the public can understand. and putting forth a cad and again and again and language as clear and simple and straightforward as the sharon's statement the ideals that drives us, the ideals that define this nation, the ideals that will guarane freedom in the future. it's a tall order. the good news as both richard viguerie and michael barone had explained, the good news is that the wind is at our back right now. let's hope the wind stays there. but you know what, the best way
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to make the wind stay there is to make sure that somewhere on our end we have a big huge fan that we are operating, that's blowing in the wind in the right direction. that's the sort of thing that the 86 or 94 or 96 or however many people were at sharon were doing in 1960. that's the sort of thing we need to do today. and it is the sort of thing that we need to remain dedicated to. and if we have good elections on november 2nd, then we need to do when we wake up on november november 3rd by saying okay, that was the easy part. now let'sget to work.
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[applause] >> actually, roger, he pulled a curveball on me. you weren't optimistic. i'm more optimistic than he is. i'm not worried about the courts. i'm not worried about the executive. i kind olike what he and the jackson said. i'm kind of sick of the courts telling us what to do. and the great thing about our constitution is the three branches. and there's no place in the nstitution that says any one of them is the one on top. the reason i think works is because they clash against each other. it's a crazy libertarian system where nobody's in char. that's why it works. that's why creates freedom and that's why i guess i am going to end up as the most optimistic.
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[inaudible] >> ends up coming down to the people deciding which branch ends up winning the battle once there is a battle. >> well, it's up to the people. at such institutions. it's up to providence. it's up to lot of things. there's no water in this world. of course, that's my libertarian streak coming out. all right, well, in any event, we have some time for questions. they can be either optimistic or pessimistic. and under no restrictions lacayo said. but of course i didn't follow them either. but who would like to speak and stir something up? the future of freedom is kind of the general aim. if anything you want. yes? >> mark seidenberg, i'm in california, then it yaf. we started yaf in 1964 when i rst joined.
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my question is mr. viguerie, you mention several agreements and i think one of the most important right now is when the hague convention in nationality in 1933 that the united states senate give consent to 1937. by the treaty that the united states signed, john mccain does not qualify to be a united states citizen. and that was one of the issues that i thought should be raised since mccain was born in the public opinion among august 29, 1937. it boils down to this. his parents never got married in tijuana, mexico as he claimed. and they're unmarried cause because all marriages in tijuana and the baja california time -- okay the question is, why not
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bring up the heat convention and nationality in 1930, which is the reason that john mccain doesn't qualify to be president of the united states or u.s. senator. >> i have no idea about that. >> are not familiar with the hague convention of 1937. >> one good thing about yaf, we've never been ashamed to admit we don't know what were doing. yes, back there in the corner there. >> i've got a two-parter. first part is assuming that john mccain had won the election, where would we be now? and the second part played enough without is that the republicans nominate another established republican in 2012, where does that leave us quite >> richard, why don't you start with? >> because the time limitation i didn't get into that. when i talk about this subject,
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i usually mentioned that if it terrifies you to think about obama as president and with the risk that causes freedom is taken at this, think about what life would've been like if mccain had been president. any number of legislation that we post would've been passed by now. and the republicans would be down to a corporal's guard after this election. republicans would've been decimated the 2010 election. anthen the democrats would've been poised to sweep the elections in 2012 from president congress governors and they would govern, in my opinion, for a generation if the establishment country club type republicans had won the election in 2008. most of us voted for mccain. i certainly did. but i knew that the cause of freedom would be better served for the long haul, not sherburn sherwood obviously would be better off.
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long-term i thought no way to turn everything around. i saw no way that we are going to go back to the vision of our founders with john mccain as president. all of these republican presidents, they're not presidents, politicians, national and most of the state level have grown government. it's only with the tea party coming along that we have the opportunity. we be people like ken buck, joe miller, rent paul, talking about going to the vision of our founders. you don't hear republicans here the last 15, 20 years in washington talking about that. >> might come you got anything to add quite >> ioan or the republican establhment is located. if i go back in history in the 1940's, 50's and 60's that exist in madison were to the okhotsk, the princeton club, their members included people like henry luce, the publisher of times and is editor of fortune was also the campaign manager for wendell wilkie 1940
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convention thing to go into the rockefeller republic. there was sort of an establishment that those people are all dead now. and most of them have done for a long time. and you kow, so i don't know what the establishment republican power. and i just, you know, is michael steele the established republican? faq sort of an odd duck. i do't do so. you know, so i don't think it's really a fertile way of thinking about 2012 in those terms. i think in evaluating presidential candidates and i think our presidential nominating system is the weakest part of our political system, one incidentally not covered by the constitution at all. i've been thumbing through my copy of the constitution to try to find kind of prvisions -- every often i look at it to say iowa and new hampshire buffers.
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if anyone has found that it be happy to hear about it because i haven't been able to find it. but i think, you know, evaluating candidates for president is an important thing. but it didn't, you know, the natural establishment versus conservati outsider -- >> richard come you get a quick response quite >> absolutely, i would urge, michael if you haven't read a 16 page article in the current issue of the american spectator called the ruling class but usual quarterly. and it's a masterful piece. american spectator just turned it into a book or didhe want to know the establishment is, read the ruling class and its republicans, it's democrats, is president of foundations, president of universities, the journalist in washington around the country. the ruling class, and as a revolt of the tea party and it's not just about liberal democrat
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or when the republicans. it is about the ruling class in this country that has wrecked the rules not to give themselves and their friends and advantage over the middle class and the tea party as a revoke of the middle class in this country. >> angelo code of your leg is an excellent piece. yes, ryan. >> m. griffin, former illinois chairman, board member and publicist of phil crane at aj you among other things. i very mu enjoyed this pane. richard, i wanted to ask you that at the end of your attack on you said we have to change the culture. and then we had this great window of opportunity to change the culture in the new integer type. if i wanted to know if you have any idea of what we can do abt it. it seems so overwhelming to change the culture. >> friend, i ended my talk because i thought somebody was
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going to come and pull me off the stage. i could see and get into the edge of the chair. >> i didn't do that. >> you had two marches before you cut off your chair. it was time for me to find it. you're exactly right. i did not develop the pint. in the point that i wanted to make and failed to as i was looking on my iphone before i started speaking. and so today is fred newson poll says 61% of the american people prefer to believe that cutting spending, 61% of the american people believe cutting spending will create more jobs then obama's $51 billion stimulus program. ..
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government is the problem. they spend too much and regulate too much. that is the problem now. >> that reminded me about you talking about ronald reagan. i do not understand why conservatives keeps saying this. the facts are ronald reagan absolutely cut non-defense domestic spending by 9.7%.
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that is a fact. if we do not know it, the country will never know it. >> in 1995-1996 and part of 1997, we cut $50 billion in domestic discretionary spending and the economy took off. off and cutting spending does give confidence to all sorts of investors six cetera that confidence goes up and investment goes up and the economy booms. the but that leaves me to the idea that it depends what part of aulture is that we need to change. the culture, the general
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public out there as these polls are showing and as the article is showing, it is a culture head the answer to that is both to keep developing these of primitive means of communication to get around with the established media to get around academia or the government bureaucrats by civil service laws but also to join them. i was looking through my father's old files. his handwritten notes from the breakout sessions. and repeatedly in the notes when he took away.
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not the cloak and dagger connotations but we need to infiltrate existing organizations in addion to developing our own. we need to do whatever it is that we enjoy doing and not be daunted by being there regionally minorities but to bring conservative perspectives do whatever we did. another georgetown why a half member gerard alexander writes a lot for "the weekly standard" tells the story about he was a professor and until he got 10 years he did not let anybody know he was a conservative because he knew they would deny him 10 year but he infiltrated not cloak and dagger read this is what heanted to do but teach young people and he would not be deterred but he just kept it to himself
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until he was it enough and cod not be fired for his opinions than there he is publishing right and left a and spreading the conservative message. 312 when the culture we have to and including the ones that are hostile to us. [applause] >> i have heard people use that phrase a thousand times but the first time i have heard a good answer. >> i believe the best way to change the culture is to take our children out of the government's schools to cut off all taxpayer funding federal, state, and local to do home school. that is the way to change our culture. >> i think that is good.
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[applause] >> as a new college graduate going to graduate school i remember a breakout session where we talk about infiltrating and it has not been very subtle by happen a college professor since it started graduate school and have been net laila 48 years. i started a little young bull the better not. but there are lots of people in academia who think what i would call in a conservative terms people who believe in liberty and freedom and original sin and they are trying to do a good job. most of them are not administrators.
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it is my job not to like the administrators but it seems to me most want to extend their empire by hiring people who think the way they think. i don't know how you break into that culture. if you were a woman and recently articulate you could do anything i just wanted to teach english. i think i turned out some students who made some real differences and have performed in some arena is a rather effectively. i believe if yaf the american foundation i remember what i started graduate school and they call me the on a very can fascist but the whole
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message of yaf has a sympathetic audience of college populations most kids that i know at laila which is pretty typical tend to be traditional and please their parents. they think the way their parents do. i would love to see everybody homes will but unfortunately everybody criticizes public schools but they like the one that their children go to. i think the answer is for yaf to become more public i was not as optimistic 10 years ago. fox news made it available to a lot of people who could not put into words what they knew was trooper but now ey have the words.
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sell some of us did infiltrate. our work was not as effective or as public as others but on the other hand, having turned out tom clancy, a 15 jesuits' who are solid priests, that of a college teaching has done a bad thing. [applause] >> especially if they are private. >> i am from los angeles on them national board of yaf when don devinwas young. [laughter] >> mr. i agree nobody is surprised the conservative movement is not feel by the fortune 500 of that of many millionaires. today given the dynamics of
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computer if you are starting business today would you start a direct mail company? >> absolutely. we don't have enough donors but we have more than when we started. the starting might come point* -- company after the goldwater landslide that was a dark day you think it is dark now. [laughter] those were really, really dark days and took me six months into 1964 -- to 65 before i could read the papers would sneak up on it with the comics and then this words it was tough days but radio is dead. television is dead. all of that is wrong.
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that is one channel. if you don't communicate with just one thing. not just direct-mail or direct e-mail or all of the channels out there. reverberate in the tent in terms of getting our message out 40 or 50 years ago. with a new alternative media has leveled the playing field for conservatives. but then to know if we can exist some of the election to the president's eighth. running against john connolly or bob dole or george bush a house while a
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250,000 donors and made all of the defense budget ronald reagan in space was a conservative movement was fuelled by direct mail in those days. >> university of florida yaf. i want to ask the question to stay on this optimistic same to assume we have majorities in both chambers and heavily influenced with teaparty members how would you give a vice om john boehner how to sustain the maturity and the leadership to keep their relevant and keep the momentum going and politically on the move selachian contie to get
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through the 12 and 14 and 16 and 18 elections of it all fall back the way the last republican congress did in that everybody's so heavily criticizes. they may get there and say we're here to stop that which may give them 55 percent approval but with the advice would you give going forward? >> >> in a fundamental way to take refuge sie the instinct but it is like the old guy that says some of my friends are for the bill and some of my friends are against the bill and families with my friends. what the public seems to be telling us is that's with
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the national scope of government if you would receive good tools to turn that around and aernatives and smashed -- the challenge for conservatives ahead ahead, looking at obama's, it seems to me and i s this right after the 2008 election, i continue today there is the fundamental tension the wagon americans live their lives and a program of the obama democrats. this centralized command and control but we the experts will tell you what to do. and then we will set your business down the way secretary of health and human services has
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threatened to do yesterday to the health insurance lobbyists and so forth. centralized command and control of the inkster government. it is the facebook generation the i put a generation you don't listen to somebody else's top 40 you have your own facebook page do not reply to somebody's official fan club. social media keeps changing faster than i can keep track of what they shape their own world. but then to say you have to funnel money and take one of the health insurance alternatives and conservatives need to get the message across to young voters that we stand for and
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striving to advance public policies that give young americans e opportunity to choose their future they did not have a future imposed on them and that is something they need to think about as a delegate. >> let me say briefly, the number one small government constitutional conservatives need is for new leadership and the team that state's nine defense long enough will lose. the republicans have to have neleadership. so much so gallo says 20% of the gallops identify as republicans. 42% is conservatives.
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so they did not identify themselves as republicans fa reagin constitutional conservatives. new leadership makes the big difference. >> here is our i can sound optimistic. i have seen two polls last six weeks that show voters are split almost evenly 37 n./308 and the rest are not sure. even though the tide is turning and seeing for the first time firsthand just what a horrendous thing this big government stuff is and realizing it does not work that is the beauty of young americans for freedom they
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realized that young people a still making up their minds. brownout the trying to make their minds up in our direction that is why we need to keep thmomentum going. i feel very good about that. >> >> i was a fan at the ribbon dana substance style of journalism and writing pieces recently on book fraud when it comes to integrity so wondering if you could talk about the threat. >> i will make it as brief as i can but the jusce department with the voting rights section is the most heavily politicized and also corrupt that i have ever
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seen in my adult lifetime. here is the deal. just this ek one whistle-blower mr. adams should win an award from conservatives said -- sent note his letters to file that he intends with local voters and other files, to file suits against states at are refusing to enact the same part of the motor voter law that chile fernandez said last time that they would not to enforce that is part of the motor voter acthat states must scrub there are of people who have committed felonies or moved you have
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state after state after state where they have a dozen or 15 are 17 counties where there are more registered voters on the ofcial roles than the are with the bill said decisions in the county. that is the open invitation for voter fraud the justice department not only refuses to fight did but likes it because dead votes tend to vote democratic. christian adams on s own has checked the stats and looked at the numbers and has lifted the actions of the state government and now in the process of filing suits to do it to the outcome of a lot of races the outcome could hinge and how successful he is.
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this is a huge battle ground. thank you. >> jeff, with voter intensity and a voter turnout, what struck me was in the virginia election last year for governor but the implication was the same people that if it turned out in 2008 quite likely would not have been elected. my question but it is the question and the republican intensity is to bring out the majority of voters on election day but some
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questions to go to richard viguerie now says a part of the teaparty movement are there new voters are those who are cause a voters from mccain butow energized as opposed to the obama administration? and what went wrong of the obama analysis? spending huge amounts of money the why can't they mobilize them politically? if there is so much gratitude against the employee unions and a constituencies you has largess not being able to mobilize elections. >> and the enthusiasm marks heavy and their favor. especially in the 2008 cycles there is no guarantee this will continue our what
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will be the case 2012. we're too far away to understand the balance of enthusiasm. if obama's shovels money low income people 18 aren't or don't they have more gratitude or more enthusiastic? win obama has really been shoveling is the unions and public employee unions. of the zero he cannot give them what they wanted the most was the card check bill in which they thought they could unionize large sections of the private sector economy and do with the uaw did two general motors and chrysler but attached to the private sector what amounts to a tax on the democratic party that
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is what th increase to unionize movement would mean and at is the intention and desired result of the advocates. lot of those are grumbling about that but if you look at what they have shovel -- shoveled out the stimulus money hour aid to the public sectors of the state's it goes to the facilitators and in the community outreach. >> paygo select cod jury of people subsidize part of those who fancy themselves as being the educated class class, why don't we have more roads are things being repaired under the stimulus package? they have the subjected to the davis-bacon requirements
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that takes months. one thing republicans want to think about is making government work bette and more e efficiently. there are some things that conservatives think government should do and the idea is should take for ever to do them and inefficiently isot a good conservative idea. i just reuter, a couple weeks ago the lead was the humpbacked bridge. how many of y go on the george washington parkway? by the 14th street bridge the humpbacked bridge goes of 20 or 30 feet over the and lead to they have been repairing and since january 2008 the promised completion date is june 2011 although i would not bet on it. that means they are taking 42 months to do this little bridge. at the top you can see the pentagon. it was built in 18 months.
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[laughter] there is a lesson. and we have allowed the government to be allwed with environmental restrictions and lawsuits that make no sense that allow these organizations to live on six-figure salaries and send kids to fancy colleges. there is some work to be done. if we do want a government building roads or somebody if the private sector, then do some of these things efficiently. let's get a better performance. >> just briefly, it is a mixed bag. there is some conservatives who have been active for some time but they are a minority.
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there are republican is to happen an active but all the teaparty people energy lovell is sky high. but i don't make it is with thenear the democrats. democrats. it is a mixed bag, but the significance increase of voters for conservative causes. >> we leave this program to take you live to the national press club for a speech on strategies to end world hunger by the reverend david beckmann, of -- and my live coverage on c-span. >> please visit the web site. on behalf of our members worldwide, i would like to welcome our speaker and
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attendees of today's event, including guest of our speakers as well as working journalist. i would also like to document public our c-span and radio audiences. i would like to introduce our head table guests. from your right, paul reinhart, head of corporate communications force in jensen, north america. michelle vu. michael pearson of the washington post, and a guest of the speaker. -- michael gerson, a guest of the speaker. see keeping our speaker for the moment, rodrigo the other trauma, a member of the national press club -- -- rodrigo
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valderama, a member of the national press club. maura wayland, deputy administrator for public affairs with usaid. thank you. [applause] last year the united nations reported that the world had reached a dubious milestone. for the first time, more than 1 billion people were experiencing hunger. while traditionally food in sub- saharan africa remains hardest- hit, it had affected the united states as well. in 2008, one in six americans lived in households that struggled to afford food at some point. in the past year according to the u.s. department of agriculture. our speaker to the has spent more than 20 years fighting to reduce those numbers in the u.s. and abroad. the reverend david beckmann is
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the first clergyman to win the world food prize, an annual award established by nobel peace prize laureate to those who make vital contributions to food and agriculture. the reverend beckman shares this luck. award with joe he serves as president of bread for the world institute and is the founder and current president of the alliance to end hunger. the world food prize cited the organization of effectiveness in and its advocacy. it has grown into an organization that engage more than 1 million christians in an advocacy to end hundred. -- to end hunger. his new book "exodus from hunter." -- exodus from hunger.
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welcome to the national press club, reverend david beckmann. [applause] >> thank you, alan. i am grateful to be here and i appreciate the interest at all of you have, and what we can do to end hunger. i want to start by telling you about a visit by got to make last year to a remote part of mozambique, down on the pacific coast of africa. we went up to a little island on the lake on a tiny airplane, and then we took an old wooden boat over to some lakeshore settlements along the lake there in mozambique. these are really remote places. they were at least 100 miles from the nearest road. our first stop was a little
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settlement, not really count, but a settlement of about 40 mud houses. each house had its own casaba field. the truth is if you're casaba field fails, your family goes hungry. there is very little trade, no electricity, no transportation. as we came to the lake shore, there were about 50 people waiting for us, and they were sinsinging hymns and praise songs. and we landed, and they danced us up to the top of a hill above the lake. up at the top of the hill is a church they had made, a mud church. the woman who had arranged for our visit -- we had a preliminary meeting, and she said tell these visitors from america how your lives have improved here. it was not obvious to me
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that their lives have improved very much, but then somebody said right away, we are at peace. because in mozambique's they have just been through a 16-year civil war. all these people were repeatedly brutalize, repeatedly forced into refugee status in neighboring countries. now mozambique has a good government. somebody else mentioned their school because 10 years ago they did not have a school. now almost all the kids, even aids orphans, go to school. later we met three women who had been on death's door because of aids, and they are now getting entire retro viral medications funded mainly by the new you.s. government. they are able to take care of their children, they are able to farm. their church has a group that
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goes around that does work on hiv and aids. they are part of the group, helping other people deal with hiv and aids. so i was really profoundly encouraged -- and i think all of us in fact can take real encouragement from what has happened in this really poor place in remote africa. and the same kind of story can be told in hundreds of thousands of communities around the world. because the world has made dramatic progress against hunger, poverty, and disease over the last 30 years. across africa, there are a lot more kids in school. there are 30 million more african kids in school today than were in school 10 years
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ago. the world bank estimates that in 1980 there were 1.9 billion people in extreme poverty. by the same measure, there are now about 1.4 billion people in extreme poverty. that is still way too many poor people, but i am struck that hundreds of millions of the world's poorest people have been able to work their way out of poverty. since i'm a preacher, i see this as god moving in our own history. this is our loving god answering prayers for hundreds of millions of people. i see this as a great exodus in our own time. now, in our own country, as richly blessed as we are, we have not made sustained progress
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against poverty. but it is clear that if countries as diverse as bangladesh and brazil and great britain can reduce their property rates, as they have, thus their poverty rates, as they have, the united states can do that if they want to do it. we have in fact been able to reduce poverty in the united states when we tried. the clearest example is from the 1960's and early 1970's. it was a period of very low unemployment. president johnson and then also president nixon expanded anti- poverty programs, and it worked we cut our poverty rate in half. we have not sustain that level of effort. so in fact even before the recession hit, are poverty rate was about what it was in 1970.
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now, the economy has caused a huge setback with a big increase in the numbers of hungry and poor people, certainly in our own country. because of high unemployment, one in four children in our country now lives in a household that sometimes runs out of food. the government is going to release its new poverty data on thursday. we know that the data will confirm that there has been a big increase in poverty in our communities. and the setback has been global. now more than 1 billion people in the world are undernourished. that is more than 1 billion people who cannot afford enough
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calories to make their bodies function properly. now, we have clear opportunities right now to moderate the hunger and poverty that this economic problem has caused, and those same changes will position us for rapid progress against hunger and poverty once the economy starts to recover. i think god is calling us to change the politics of hunger. why politics? because if we are serious about reducing hunger, we need to get our government to do its part. not that the government can do everything, but we need our government to do its part. you may remember that in early august congress passed a bill to provide financial aid to the states.
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i think it was a good bill that will keep a lot of teachers from being laid off, and my wife is a teacher. but at the last minute, really, they decided to finance that bill partly by cutting $12 billion from future funding for the food stamp program. $12 billion is a lot of groceries. in fact, in that one decision, congress took away from needy people twice as much food as all the food banks and charities in the countries will be able to mobilize in a year. and there was not much public fuss. that is why we have to change .he politics of plunhunger congress is coming back into session today.
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the child nutrition bill will expire on september 30, so they have to decide what they are going to do about the policies and our child nutrition programs. are we going to provide more nutritious lunches at school for our children aror not? a time when one-quarter of american households and our country run out of school, are we going to -- that decision is being made right now. the house version of the child nutrition act is much better for hungry kids than the senate version. but the house leadership has not figured out how they want to pay for it. the senate is proposing to improve school lunches for kids by making deeper cuts in the food stamp program. so i would like people to call your member -- call one of your members of congress and ask them to pass the house version
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of the child nutrition act. if you have not gotten a pen, you might want to get one out because i will give you the phone number in a few minutes. there are other issues that are hanging fire for hungry people right now, and they are very feasible things that we can do to help. first, to their great credit to the obama administration has launched a world hundred initiatives. they are investing in poor farmers all across the world, helping them produce more food, in the initiative has a special focus on child malnutrition. they are using a relatively small amount of u.s. money to leverage investments by other governments around the world, including governments of the countries concerned. congress is not now on track to provide the money that the president has requested for this world hunger initiative. second, on this issue, i'm less enthusiastic about the obama
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administration. we need to make our foreign aid programs more effective in reducing poverty, and the administration has done some things to make our aid programs better, but they have moved slowly. it seems that they are seriously considering merging our developing programs more fully into programs and efforts that are really focused on our own short-term self-interest. that is a bad idea. again, the way to get to them is to get through congress. the biggest property issue that is hanging fire right now is tax credits for the working poor. i know a young mother who is working two part-time jobs. she has a 3-year-old boy. last year she was able to use her tax rebate to enroll in a program to learn how to be a dental hygienist. this is what we want, to reward people who are working but are
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poor, and to help them move forward with their lives and the lives of their kids. but the tax rule that benefited her last year will expire unless congress acts. so in this big debate about taxes, let's not forget the tax credits for the working poor. so if you have your pencils ready, also people watching on c-span, i hope, the number of the capital such board is 202- 224-3121. it is easy. you call, you ask for one of your members of congress, you will get a staffer come and you tell him or her that you what to see passage of the house version of the child nutrition act by the end of september. and if you want more information on that issue or these other hunter issues, here's another thing you can mark down. -- these other hunger issues,
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the bread for the world website is finally, we have a big election -- is as we decide who to vote for, 1 consideration should be, which of these candidates is going to be good news for hungry and poor people? it is not guess work. you ask them. what do you think about the child nutrition bill? what do you think about the world hunger initiative? what do you think about port assistance reform. what do you think about tax credits for the working poor? what we need is a much stronger constituency for hungry and poor people. and i think a lot of that surge in constituency power needs to come from people who are moved by our consciences or by our
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god. now, i think virtually all religious people know that if you want to get close to god, you have got to do right by the poor. it is hard to miss that. we do not all do it, but it is hard to miss the message. but a lot of religious people do not get the idea that god is concerned not just about our individual behavior but also about our laws and how we behave as a nation. that is all over the place in the bible. but, for example, when glenn beck convened people on the mall a couple of weeks ago, when i read through his speech, this is a point that he just did not make, that part of what we need to do as religious people is justice for poor people. some religious people do get this. bread for the world itself includes about 1 million people.
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mostly christian people who understand that god is calling them to help poor people and do it in big ways, structural ways. i think the best way for me to tell you about bread for the world is to tell you about my friend pat pelham in birmingham, alabama. pat was a young mother in the late 1990's. in her morning prayers, one morning, she felt that god was calling her to do something for africa. she had little kids. what was she going to do? but her minister suggested, "why don't you get our church involved in bread for the world?" so she did that. today with her friend elaine, they developed a relationship with their member of congress, spencer backus. he is a conservative republican, but he did some things with bread for the world because of them. in early 1999, church people all
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over the world were energized by the idea that we could write down some of the unpayable debt of the world's poorest countries. the jubilee campaign. at the same time, spencer backus was named chair of the international committee of the banking committee. so i called pat. within two weeks, pat and elaine came up to washington. they go to the presbyterian church, but they brought letters from our lady of sorrows catholic church to mr. backus. they convinced him that this was something that ought to happen. spencer back is became the most effective advocate for debt relief in the u.s. congress. it is not just the one-time visit. they kept up pressure. back home they recruited of and set up otherrches leaders. president clinton signed the appropriations bill, and that the signing ceremony, he said,
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"mr. bacchus, you're from the other party, but we would not be here if it were not for you." i used my two minutes to talk about pat pelham and elaine and father martin muller, and those who pushed congress to dare to do something for poor people when it seemed politically impossible. that is bread for the world. we are a collective christian voice for hungry people. we organize and all kinds of christian churches, and we have a secular affiliate, the alliance to end hunger, including jewish and muslim groups and all kinds of secular organizations. we are bipartisan. we are conscientiously respectful of people who disagree with us. most importantly, we win. we win big changes for hungry and poor people. for the last decade, we helped
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triple assistance to poor countries. we more than doubled nutrition assistance to hungry families and our own country on both those things. we did a lot of work with president bush. of course, bread for the world is just a small part of the constituency, of the broader constituency for poor people. we need to say that over the last couple of years, congress has done good things for poor people. and in greece -- at every step of the way, people of conscience have been part of the process. in my bed -- in my judgment, the big bill that president bush introduced right at the end of his term, and that president obama pushed earlier to do with the furniture crisis, i think those bills saved us from depression. we were especially supportive of the obama stimulus package because half of that money went to programs in which low-income people participate.
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and many other groups -- we and many other groups went to win support for that bill. the expansion of health insurance is going to keep a lot of people from being pushed into poverty, and it is that logic that led catholic religious and women across the country to support the health care bill. it was a tough issue for catholics because they were not very satisfied with how the abortion issue was treated. but the support of catholic religious women was crucial to the passage of the health care bill, and so when president obama signed that bill, he gave the first pen to sister carol keenan. when congress took up financial reform, another coalition including a lot of faith groups worked to reduce -- to restrict financial institutions that work with low-income people to reduce the exploitation of low-income
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people by banks and other financial institutions. on the child nutrition bill, food banks, lots of faith groups have been working hard for a couple of years, campaigning intensively now. the jewish council public affairs has hosted child nutrition satyrs across the country. the lutheran church -- let me tell you one more story. maine is an important state because the senators and representatives from maine are relatively moderate people. so they are often swing votes on these issues. i want to tell you about three people in brunswick, maine. helen small, ted bradbury, christine troy. because they could see how important their representation in washington often was, they had done a lot to strengthen
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bread for the world's network of individuals and churches across maine, and they have got a lot of people writing to their members of congress on issues that are important to hungry people. just a few weeks ago, helen's church, which is st. charles -- itm a low -- central's was an offering of letters to congress about the child nutrition act. let me be clear -- we do not now have enough political arm for to achieve the changes for hungry people that we should achieve. that is why i am asking you and other people to become more active on these issues. we are going to try to use the
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world food prize, the book i have coming out, to stir a stronger constituency of conscience on issues that are important to hungry and poor people. for starters, just take one step, like really do call our members of congress about the child nutrition act. or pick out a candidate that you think is a good candidate, and volunteer to help that person get elected on november 2. or if you are a journalist, right about some of the issues that are important to hungry and poor people. god uses are modest steps to move through history, to move the world. jesus said you don't even need much faith. if you just have faith the grain of a mustard seed, you can move a mountain. that is my experience.
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in our own time, god is moving to overcome hunger and poverty, and i think god is calling us to change the politics of it. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for speaking today, reverend beckman. if you are a member of the offense, do not hesitate to come forward with your own questions. in europe address, you spoke to the number of hungry individuals both in the u.s. and the world. give us -- given the changes in the numbers and global dynamics, how has the face of hunger change in the past 20 or 30 years? >> well, most of the people who are hungry are just poor. they are just poor, so globally we tend to focus on these disaster situations, and they
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are important. but 95% of the hungry people are just out in remote mozambique, and they are just damned poor, and the kids die. there are no tv cameras there. that is the way it has always been, so that has not changed. it is true in our own country, too, that there is this big interconnection between hunger and poverty. what has changed is in our own country, there are a lot more people who are hungry because there is unemployment in the family. there is a very strong correlation between poverty rate and the unemployment rate. so that is the factor, people cannot get jobs, they get a halftime job, they cannot -- nobody will give them 40 hours a week. or they get crummy jobs, so in those families a lot of kids do not have enough teeth. globally, probably what is new -- enough to eat.
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globally, but probably what is new is food prices have surged in 2008, they have gone down a little bit, they are going back up again. this is especially the prices of basic grains like wheat and rice. an average poor family in a developing country may spend 2/3 of all the money they have on a bowl of rice or a couple bowls of rice a day. so when that rice price or the wheat price goes up, people go hungry. that is what has changed. the new element is the volatility of grain prices. >> on the topic of grain prices, we have seen export ban announced by russia in recent weeks. there has been drought in russia, kazakhstan. the ukraine has been having floods. we saw the first food rights in mozambique, which you referenced in your speech. to what extent is the hunger in food production problem, and to extend is a food distribution problem? >> people are hungry mainly
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because they are poor. if they do not have resources to buy the food they need, it is typically not a food production problem. the trade restrictions you are talking about -- that is part of the problem. because over the last few years with the volatility of food prices, many governments have put up trade restrictions that prohibit the export of food when they got it, and so that is exaggerated -- that has exaggerated the effect of the food price volatility. so just moving forward with -- toward a more market-oriented agriculture in the world would actually help a lot. >> how effectively do multilateral development banks mobilize resources to in reduce poverty? >> i used to work at the world
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bank, and when i went to work at bread for the world, people looked suspiciously at me -- i was going from the world bank to bread for the world. banks are big, powerful bureaucracies. any big, powerful bureaucracy is by big powerful interests. they have become much better institutions over the last 20 years since i left the bank. i do not know if there is causality there, that by me leaving it has become a better institution. but i think they do a good job. one thing they do well, the resources they have got for poverty reduction are allocated mainly to poor countries. that is a novel idea. the u.s. bilateral program, if the resources do not go mainly to poor countries, they go to countries allied with the u.s. government.
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>> if you take a look at u.s. bank and world cultural development, it has dropped to about 4% today. as a redirection of resources need to be made to encourage that basic agricultural development and then leads to food resources? >> absolutely, but i think -- i mean, the whole world, almost the whole world neglected agriculture in developing countries for a period of decades. during that time -- in fact, i am proud that bread for the world campaign to try to reverse that trend. the surge in food prices in 2008 just shocked people, so that seems to have in fact turned the trend so the world bank is investing more in agriculture. since you're pushing on this, i am also really impressed that world bank and the world food program have done a really great job with the sudden increase in
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world hunger of flagging that issue, diagnosing the issue, helping poor countries in the rest of the world do our best to invest more in agriculture, to invest more in nutrition and other things that can moderate the crisis. i think the bank on that issue has been outstanding, actually. >> what is the role of trade in alleviating global hunger, and how important factor is it with other considerations? >> you are not asking me any questions about the politics of and all those church people, because that is really what i know about. i really do think that the problem -- why haven't we world's hunger?ed it is not because we are not smart enough. the trade issue is really
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important to progress against poverty and hunger around the world. trade is not really popular right now, but i think if we need to engage in world -- we need to engage in drug trade in ways that protect and encourage the growth of incomes -- to engage in the trade in ways that protect and encourage the growth of incomes. if we can do that, trade is really important to growth, and we need growth. in particular, the agriculture trade is fundamentally important. almost every country has its protectionist system in agriculture. in our country we protect -- we give subsidies to mostly wealthy landholders. they are protectionists subsidies. that system needs to be reformed. it is not going to happen right away, but we do need to reform
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the system as part of the process of getting the world economy back on track, opening opportunities for poor farmers around the world, improving life in rural america and ending hunger. >> in the next farm bill, because of the budget outlook, there is a tension between nutrition programs -- food stamps and child nutrition -- and farm subsidies. how does that result? more broadly, how the farm subsidies affect world under? world hunger?r >> what we have got now is not good. we have these protectionist subsidies to rich people. if you go to rural counties, none of the money is coming in to the people who really need help. i come from nebraska. i visited a little town maybe 70
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miles from lincoln, and we met with a group of farmers my hosts were an elderly couple who should be retired, but they retired.ot afford to be they get nothing from the farm belt. the guy -- from the farm bill. the guy at the table who gets money from the farm bill is the guy has a big spread of corn and soybeans. he gets a big check. he is one of the biggest contributors to the lutheran church, so it is a little tough to criticize him. it is true in every county, almost every county, atthat the money comes to the people that least needed. we could reform policies in a way that will do more good for rural people, for people who are really struggling. free up money to reduce our taxes, put more money in nutrition programs.
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do a lot of good for hungry people around the world. it is also tied up with obesity. virtually everybody in our country is obese or overweight. obesity is a playground world. with that, we ought to be working for a fruit and farm system that provides healthy food for everybody. what we have got now is anything but. >> what did the white house to to raise the profile of hundred issues? -- of hunger issues? >> well, the president needs to talk about hungry during the campaign. he promised to end child hunger, and in fact, during the campaign, the campaign put out a policy paper that was really well thought through. he said what you do is strengthen nutrition programs, you strengthen what communities
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are doing to reduce hunger and get better interaction between the community activities and the national nutrition programs. then you need to do things like tax credits for the working poor to reduce poverty. if we would do those three things, certainly when the economy is back in shape, we could end child hunger in a hurry. but he has not talked about it since he has come into the white house. he has been talk about healthy children and the healthy children initiative. that has been mainly in your green beans and run around the block. michelle obama has not given a lot of emphasis on the fact that a quarter of the kids in the country, when they do have sued, it is not very good food. it is cheap food. the president could talk more about hundred. ger.bout hunte he is convinced that the voters do not want to hear about it.
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>> what proof do you have that voters do care about hunger? >> the public opinion polls, the alliance to end hunger has done public opinion polls it through the last decade. so we know that there are -- it depends on how you ask the questions, but 2/3 to 80% of voters want the government to do more to help hungry people, especially when it comes to hungry kids in this country. if you talk about better improve school lunches, better nutrition programs for children in our own country, and you make it clear that you are going to be careful about not wasting money, 80% of americans are in favor of that. republicans and democrats come out about the same. so there is a lot of public good will to do things for hungry and
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poor people. you have to explain to people that we're talking about efforts to help people get on their own feet so that they can provide for themselves, and you have to make it clear that we're talking about programs that are efficient that will not waste tax dollars. with those provisos, there is very broad support for doing things to reduce hunger, and that is really the grounding for a long bipartisan tradition on these issues. going way back to bob dole and george mcgovern, now it is joanne emerson and jim mcgovern. there are people on both sides of the aisle in the house and the senate that we can count on to provide leadership for hungry people, and that is grounded in the fact that it's the right thing to do and voters on both sides of the aisle want us to do it. >> it does seem that there has
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been a reduction in the profile, media and otherwise, of anti- party activism since the 1960's an 1970's. why is this? >> i am not sure if it's true. based on -- there is one study done by a guy named tom friedman at friedman & associates, that showed press coverage of poverty issues in the 2008 election, was way more extensive than in the 2004 election. i think that is both an indication of the interest of journalists and in fact what then senator obama and senator mccain were talking about. you know, we do not have the kind of excitement and concern that we had in the 1960's.
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that is for sure true, but i think we are better off in terms of attention than we were 10 years ago, especially on global poverty. the last 10 years i got to know bono and angelina jolie and brad pitt. who would have ever expected that we would have had help from rock stars and the mega reg on global poverty? so there has been a real -- there has been a real shift in how americans think about poor people around the world. it is a much, much more supportive argument. >> when you listen to public discourse, there seems to be significant anti-government sentiment out there that says the government cannot spend tax dollars effectively, government programs do not work. what is your response that the terms of the evaluation of government effectiveness in hunger programs? >> i think that is a really
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major problem, and there is some truth in it of course, that the government is -- my post office a pretty good, but they're not as good as some companies that idea with. so there is some truth in the fact that government is somewhat clunky, and we set up safeguards to make sure that everybody is treated the same and so forth. those safeguards that keep the government from favoritism can also make it more clunky. i think that that picture is exaggerated, that in fact -- i know a lot of people who have been in leadership positions, both republican and democratic administrations in government. i am impressed by these people. they are public servants, by and large. as i talk to civil servants, it seems to me there are a lot of people doing good work in government. the way we make government --
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americans have always been skeptical of a government that is not going to change, but the way we make it more effective is to push for change. that is why bread for the world is mounting a big campaign to make foreign aid more effective. we wanted to use the dollars better, more focused on poverty. because if we fight to make the problem is better, then we can with good conscience ask for the money. but i do not think you do one or the other. in the case of the nutrition programs, both the clinton and the bush administration did really good work to make the national nutrition programs, especially food stamps, a much more effective program. there are not any food stamps anymore. it is a debit card. it is a much more efficient program, much less misused by the convenience stores, which used to steal by the pro -- which used to steal from the program.
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some drug-addicted people used to steal from the program. that is pretty much done, partly because both administrations worked on it, partly because there are a lot of advocacy groups that work in the programs. they insisted on good quality. do not just grumble, lobby. talk to your member of congress about ways to make government work better. >> general, is u.s. society becoming more or less compassionate toward the needs of the poor, as the current recession affected this? >> you know, maybe i am pollyanna, but i think the polling data is pretty clear, that americans are very compassionate toward poor and hungry people. and more compassionate toward poor and hungry people now because we all know that there are a lot of people who are really suffering, through no fault of their own. i think one thing that has happened in the recession is that there has been some tilth, where people are saying, you
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know, how long can we help haiti? we have to make sure that we are taking care of things at home. you know, it is not all just more, more, more support. broadly, americans want to do right by hungry and poor people in our country and around the world. and if political leaders can show them a way to do that, that is not going to waste their money and that also is going to help people -- do not just get them money, but help them to get up on their own feet so that they are earning enough money to provide for their own kids. with those provisos, we have a very generous country, and we ought to be able to organize the political oomph to do what we need to do to end hunger. >> the issue of foreign hundred is mainline churches. -- -- the issue of poor and
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hungry is in mainland asia for judges. >> the argument to make is it is in the bible. that is the argument to make. the way that god revealed himself to the people in the old testament was primarily moses, and moses -- in the new testament, our lord jesus christ cared about loss, he cared about the sabbath law. this was the law of the land. the sabbath law was being implemented in a way that marginalize people, that kept people from getting healed. so all the way through the bible, if you just read the bible, certainly read the hebrew prophets -- amos, jose yeah, jeremiah, isaiah, it is clear that god is concerned about justice for poor people. there has been a real change on
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this in the thinking of many evangelicals, especially young evangelicals over the past 15 years. when i speak on evangelical campuses, it is really wonderful because typically there are five or 10 young people who come up after a speech and say, you know, i will change my life. there is a further up -- there is a fervor among evangelicals people. they are ready to go. "what do you want me to do?" it is not true anymore that it is a main line issue. some of the church bodies that are most strongly supportive of bread for the world are the cooperative baptist fellowship, the evangelicals covenant church. we had good support from the willow creek network. there has been a big shift on that, and i think it is important because many evangelicals are conservative people who are concerned about abortion, so it is not just that these are liberal democrats at
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prayer. and there is a very strong advocacy streak, and it is a fervent advocacy street among american evangelicals. thanks be to god. also among organized judea's them. it is clear that there are a lot of jews who care about social justice. but in the zero organized structure of judaism, the american jewish world service -- they are very active in advocacy for hungry people in a way they were not 10 years ago. we have had wonderful experiences with the muslim community in the last 10 years. the alliance to end hunger helps five muslim american networks publish an annual guide to how to help hungry people during ramadan, and i think it goes to 200,000 people.
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i may be wrong on that, but it is a lot of american muslims that get that. our experience has been that american muslims, because they feel somewhat under attack, are really eager to work with jews and christians in advocacy for hungry people. >> the vast majority of the hundred portion has been sustained economic growth in india and china. how can be better address these issues in africa, where we are making some progress against hunger, but progress remains fragile and uneven? >> that is absolutely right. in the past 10 years, roughly half the countries in africa have made economic progress. they have reduced poverty. they are nearly all democracies. some countries like mozambique, botswana, they have shown the
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way. what tends to show up on our tv screens are gruesome places like eastern condo and somalia. there is a certain newsworthiness about the grim realities of the heart of africa that is still floundering. but many african countries, people have managed to get their act together and they are doing really well. if you are running an emerging market fund, i would open up the window for africa because they are going to make a lot of money. >> throw many of these discussions, population seems an important issue in development but seemingly gets little attention. comments? >> it is important. countries like kenya and have 3% population growth a year. it is hard for a country to keep up with a rapid growing need for social services, also for families. if a husband and wife have six,
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seven kids, it is really hard to provide for those kids. so getting population growth down to more sustainable levels is important in many countries. there is the whole issue of family planning and abortion, which is very important to many muslims and many catholics. but i think there are ways, even with those concerns of conscience, to promote family planning in a way that respects the consciences of individual people. and then the most powerful contraceptive, actually, is getting -- teaching girls how to read. if girls learned how to read and write and add and subtract, the population growth drops. more than any other thing you can do. the second most import thing you can do is deal with the legal issues, legal justice issues for women. if women can own land and that
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sort of thing, that also reduces the population growth. those things change the politics with in every marriage. rather than the woman just being a beast of burden, she has got a life. she can think, she has dignity. she can read, she is making money. doing things for girls and women is more important than anything we can do to reduce population growth. >> on foreign aid, how do you assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of using the u.s. military to deliver foreign aid? >> that's a really important -- when are you going to get to the political things? you have all these policy questions. that is an important policy issue. in fact, secretary gates, the secretary of defense, things we have overrelied on the military to deliver foreign assistance,
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development assistance. civilians in pakistan and afghanistan in certain pockets cannot operate, so it may make sense as part of the war effort to distribute funds to the municipal government, to try to build some things, to try to win hearts and minds. but that is really part of the war effort, and also let's not kid ourselves, it will probably not do much to help poor people. it may help to win the war, but if you're trying to help poor people, doing that kind of win hearts and minds stuff in the middle of a war is not going to do as much as investing in poor farmers in a country that is at peace. though the on the situations where it really makes sense for the military to operate humanitarian programs. also, when there is a huge natural disaster, something like the tsunami, the military has more logistical capacity to get to people on the other side of
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the world than any other institution in our society. so i am grateful for what they did in the tsunami and the haiti earthquake, to get supplies and do some of that emergency work in the first couple of weeks. for the long haul, secretary gates agrees that it ought to be civilian agencies, especially the u.s. agency for international development, and the other development agencies, that are running development programs. when you have -- there are all kinds of programs wheproblems ag the military do it. if the military is in vault and passing out relief supplies, then there is a blurring of the distinction between humanitarian agencies and the military. so then the guys on the other side come up and shoot somebody who works for save the children because they cannot tell the difference between what is humanitarian and what is military. so i want them to keep a
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clear line. >> what can restaurant chains hunger?oting fighting unde >> heb in texas and mexico as a fabulous company that is promoting philanthropy. they are signing up people for child health insurance in their care for stores. they have their staff signing people up for the health insurance program for low-income kids. other companies -- i think another company is one that has a long interest in world hunger. they speak out on issues that are important to hungry people, especially trade issues, but also developed systems issues. we need more help from business. that is the trees.
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there are some companies -- that is the truth. there are some companies that are really serious about the environment. and they go to the hill and help to lobby for environmental policies. there are very few companies that go to the hill -- they will give money, a charitable gift, to a food bank, and that is good. but we need them to help us change the laws and the structures that keep people hungry on a much larger scale. we need that to happen among companies. secretary vilsack, the secretary of agriculture, just helped to convene a group called corporate coalition against hunger. i hope -- i have high hopes that something may come of this. >> we are leaving this event to take you live to president obama, who is speaking with the president's of fairfax virginia about the economy.
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live coverage here on c-span. >> a chance to see how economic policies were hopping -- >> my wife and i came out, hard- working families who did not have a lot. because the economy was growing and there was an emphasis on what was good for the middle class, we were able to get a great education, we were able to get scholarships. michelle's dad worked as a blue- collar worker but on that one salary, he was able to provide for his family and make sure that they always had enough and the kids had opportunities. it seemed like for about a decade there, middle-class families were losing more and more ground. some of that had to do with changes in the global economy and greater competition from around the world, but a lot of
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that had to do with the policies that had been put in place which will return -- which routed -- which really boil down to cutting taxes for millionaires and billionaires, cutting regulations made consumers and workers more vulnerable, failing to make investments that were so critical in growing our middle class over the long term. when i ran for president, my goal was to make sure that we get a set of economic policies in place that would lay the foundation for long-term growth in the 21st century so that the 21st century with the american century just like the 20th century had been. that is what we have had tried to do over the last 19 months in the midst of the worst financial crisis we have seen since the great depression. the first thing we had to do was stop the bleeding, stabilize the financial system and make sure that we did not trip into a great depression and we have
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done that. when i was sworn in on that very cold day in january, some of you may remember, we lost 750,000 jobs in that month alone. we have now seen eight consecutive months of private job growth. we were on the verge of financial meltdown. anyone involved in business at that time remembers banks were not lending at all. you cannot even get an auto loan or a consumer loan. now the financial system has stabilized although they are not completely where we need them today. the economy was shrinking at a pace -- an astounding pace of about 6% annually and now the economy has been growing. we stopped the bleeding, stabilized the economy, but the fact of the matter is that the pace of improvement has not been where it needs to be.
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the whole that we had dug ourselves in was enormous. we lost 4 million jobs in the last six months of 2008. when a was still running. we lost 4 million jobs and all told, we lost 8 million jobs. even though we have grown jobs this year, we have not been able to yet make up for those 8 million jobs that have been lost. that is an enormous challenge. the second part of the challenge is to make sure that even as we are digging ourselves out of this hole, we make better decisions so long term will find ourselves in this circumstance again and we could start reading the economy that is working for middle-class families. that is a couple of things we did on that front, we cut taxes for middle-class families because we understand that people's incomes and wages have not gone up and have not kept pace with increases in health care, increases in college, and
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so forth. the second thing we felt was important was to start creating some rules of the road again. in financial services, for example, we passed a financial regulatory bill that makes sure we will not have a taxpayer bailout. we will make sure that banks operate more responsibly and take less risk with the money they are investing and we also made sure that consumers are treated more fairly because part of what happened in this financial crisis was that people were getting mortgages that they did not understand. suddenly, the bottom fell out of the housing market and banks found themselves in a crisis situation. we said let's make sure that consumers know the kind of mortgages they are getting and i can be steered into these balloon-type payments weather is no chance of long-term they can make less mature the credit card companies have to notify you if they are going to increase your
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credit card rates for a less mature they can't increase your interest rates in your existing balances, only on future balances so they are not taking you into suddenly paying exorbitant fees and put you into the hole in the long term. jerry likes that one person. \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / . we set up rules in financial, housing, and health care. many people heard about the health care bill. the most important thing that was about was making sure that insurance companies treated you fairly. if you have health insurance, companies are not going to be able to drop you from coverage when you get sick which is part of what has been happening they could not deny you insurance because of a pre-existing condition or if your child had a pre-existing condition which obviously makes family enormously vulnerable a set of rules for the road for how companies interact with
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consumers and workers. the final thing we have tried to do to lay this foundation for long-term economic growth is to put our investment in those things that are really going to make us more competitive over the long term. we have made the largest investment in research and development in basic research and science in our history because that will determine whether we can compete with china and india and germany over the long term. are we inventing stuff here? at weekend and export overseas? we are making investments in our infrastructure because we cannot have a second class infrastructure and expect to have a first-class economy. an interesting to cystic -- or last decade, china spends about 9% of its gross domestic product on infrastructure. europe spends about 5%. we have been spending 2%.
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that is part of the reason why we no longer have the best airports, we no longer have the best real systems -- will systems, we don't have the best broadband systems. south korea has better broadband service and wireless service than we do. we have to make investments in infrastructure. a third area is education. a generation ago, we had the highest proportion of college graduates of any country in the world. we now rank 11th or 12th. we cannot win in an information society, in a global technological wired economy unless we are winning that battle to make sure our kids can compete we have said that we will put more money into higher
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education and k-12. the catch is, the money is only going to go to communities that are serious about reforming their education system so they work well. education is not just a matter of putting more money into it for you also have to make sure we have the best teachers, we have accountability, that we have the way we are designing our schools help our kids actually succeed over the long term. especially in areas of math and science where we are lagging further behind than then we were a generation ago in an. those are the things we have been trying to do or the last 19 months. as i said before, the economy is growing but it is not as fast as we would like. or the last week, i put forward a few more things i think and make a difference. number one, instead of giving tax breaks to companies that are investing overseas which our tax
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code does now, i said let's close those tax loopholes and provide tax breaks for companies investing in research and development here in the united states. that is a smart thing to do. we want to incentivize businesses alachua are making profits right now to say we should go ahead and take a chance and in dance -- and invest in the next new thing. second is what i have proposed is that we allow companies to write off their new investments early if they make those investments here in 2011. essentially, accelerating depreciation taken take on the taxes to encourage them to from blood making investments now. -- two front load making investments now. the third thing, the united states senate, jerry engine have voted on this, is a small business package that would eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses, would help
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small businesses obtain loans, it is the common sense bill that traditionally would have garnered a lot of bipartisan support but we are in the political silly season so it has been blocked by the senate republicans for the last month and a half or so. small businesses are still having trouble getting. getting loans. even though we have given them eight different experts, we will give them a little bit more because of weakened get small business is growing and investing and opening their doors, hiring new workers, that is probably going to be the area where we could make much progress over the next year in terms of accelerating employment and reducing the unemployment rate. these are all steps that we are taking now to try to move the economy forward. i have never been more confident about the future of
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our economy if we stay on track and we deal with some of these longstanding problems that we had not dealt with for decades. if we make investment and improve our education system, if we make investments in research and development, if we make investments in things like clean energy so that we have an energy policy that is not just tied to importing oil from the middle east but instead start figuring out how we can develop our home run industries, if we have a tax system that is fair and helps the middle class, and that also attends to our long-term deficit problems, if we regulate but not with a heavy hint, regulate enough to make sure that we don't have a collapse of the financial system and consumers are not taken advantage of and health insurance companies are responsive to ordinary families, if we do those things, there is no reason why we cannot succeed.
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i have travelled all round the world and i've looked at all the economic data. if you had a choice of which country you want to be, you still want to be the united states of america. we still have a huge competitive edge and we've got the best workers in the world. we've got the most dynamic economy in the world. we have the best universities. we have the best entrepreneurs in the world. but we have got to tackle these longstanding problems that have been getting in the way of progress and we got to do it now. we cannot wait another 20 years or another 30 years because other countries are catching up. that is what we have been trying to do over the last two years. some of these things i have to admit our heart. they cause great consternation for a. we tried to get some common- sense rules in the financial sector, that means billions of dollars that were going to
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products for the banks and they will not go there because they are -- you are getting a better deal on your credit card and they're not happy about it. that ends up creating a lot of trauma on capitol hill. it means we have had some very contentious debates. i just want to close by saying this -- ultimately, when i get out of washington and i start talking to families like yours, what i am struck by is not how divided the country is, but i an action struck by how basically people have common values, common concerns, and common hopes. they want to be able to find a job that pays a decent wage, give their families and their children in particular a bright future, be able to retire with dignity and respect, not the bankrupt when they get sick and that cuts across regions, it cuts across racial lines, it
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cuts across religious or ethnic lines. there is a course of american values that i think people across the country respond to. i want to make sure that the government is on the side of those values of responsibility and hard work and thinking about future generations and not just thinking about the next election. i think we have made progress but we have more progress to make. with that, i thank you all for being here. i want to answer questions. spokesman sun are hot so i will stand in the sun to make sure you know that i feel your pain [laughter] absolutely. i would not mind having that hat. that is helpful. i should of thought ahead. anybody want to -- john, go ahead. i will give you a microphone all, we have one. >> thank you for coming and we
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appreciated. i am an engineer. you talked about research and development and infrastructure. i love every dollar spent on that. i am also a paraplegic. i have a great interest and stem cell research and how it gets further. how do we get this issue to be a scientific issue instead of a political issue? >> as you know, i have been a huge supporter of stem cell research for a very long time when i came into office, we said that what will govern our decision making here is sound science. there are legitimate ethical issues involved in the biotech industry. those will continue as time goes on. those are very tricky questions and we have to make sure that our values and ethical standards are incorporated into
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everything we do. we also have to make sure that we're making decisions based not only on ideology but what the science says. the executive order that i signed would say that we are not going to create embryos to destroy for scientific research. we will not do that. on the other hand, when you have a whole bunch of embryos that were created because families were trying to -- couples were trying to start a family and through in vitro fertilization, they are frozen in some canister somewhere and are going to be discarded anyway, then it makes sense for us to take those that would be destroyed and use them to advance our scientific knowledge to see if at some point we can start making huge profits on a whole set of issues. obviously, spinal cord injuries are example but parkinsons'
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disease, alzheimer's disease, diabetes, juvenile diabetes -- there is not a single family here who has not in some way been touched by a disease that could end up benefiting from the research that is done on centel's. -- stem cells. a district court judge recently said our executive order he felt when too far beyond what the guidelines that congress had provided before i came into office. the way he had written the order made it seem like even those orders were out of line and you would have to stop the stem cell research altogether we are appealing that. we are challenging it. we will keep on making sure that i am talking to sciences and others and try to build a common sense consensus that allows us
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to make progress over the long term. ok? go ahead. >> mr. president, is a privilege for me to be here. you talk about small business loans. my company is a high-tech company and we are growing and we are providing high tech jobs for americans. how can we insure that the banking and lending institutions will actually lent money to small businesses. there have been a number of steps done in that way but so far i have been denied a loan twice. i only got the third time after i got and fba-backed loan. >> tell us about your business. you are working and clean energy? >> this is correct. i have two lines of business. clean energy where we are trying to get companies to become green
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and change their practices so that they follow sustainability practices in regular way as and the second part of my business is high-tech where we are doing i t consulting and services for government and fortune five of a company's. >> how many employees do you have? >> about 94. >> part of the answer is what you always spoke route which is small business administration. we have doubled the number of small-business loans we have been given through the sba. we have waived a lot of fees on those laws because we knew that small businesses were getting harder hit than just about anybody during the financial crisis. that was where the banks were pulling back the most curren. we tried to fill that void to make sure that small businesses could keep their doors open. even by doubling the number of
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sba loans, there is not enough capital to meet the needs of small businesses across the country. that is why this bill that we are looking to pass this week out of the senate and jerry and jim already voted for is important because it would take funding authorization to provide to community banks who are most likely to give loans to small businesses, but it would say to those banks that we will hold you accountable for actually lending the money. what we don't want to do is to help the banks boost their balance sheets but never getting the money out the door. over the long term, we think there will be enormous opportunities for banks to make money with businesses like yours. yours are the businesses that grow but they are still feeling a gun shy because of what
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happened on wall street credit in fairness to many of the community banks, there were not the ones making the big bets on derivatives they're punished nonetheless. they have been hit really hard and housing market. they have been hit on their portfolios. they have been trying to strengthen their portfolios, but when we provide these loan guarantees sba or provide cheaper money to them that they can then landau and as long as we're monitoring them to make sure they actually lend the money to small buses, their the ones that are most likely to get that money out the door. this bill is very important area that has been held up now for a couple of months unnecessarily. there was an article in the newspaper about three weeks ago that said small businesses were actually hold off on hiring because they were not sure whether some of these tax cuts they were going to get as well as some of this land of the sellers would actually be set up.
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some of my friends and republican side complain that we would get more business investing if you had more certainty. here is an example where we could get more certainty read aloud. i will sign this bill into law the day is past. many small businesses will feel more comfortable right away about hiring and making investments. >> what is happening right now is that i have contracts and i'm ready to hire 20 more people. nobody is going to give me additional loans right now. i had an off the record conversation with the vice president of one bank and he said it is simply they have made a decision not to loan to small businesses. it is more profitable to them to invest the money elsewhere. >> that is why it is so important to make sure that if they are getting help from us in
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terms of having more money to lend that actually it landed out and a lender to small businesses. we have to make a direct link between the help they are getting an them actually lending the money. that will be critical. who's next? yes, over here. ,wendy. >> i am so honored and delighted to be here. >> you must be john's is under sister. >> he is my kid brother. i am the stringer in from boston with a hockey team your meeting this afternoon. >> i'm looking forward to congratulating them. >> i would tell you a little story which is when i was at high school here woodson i got involved in historic preservation and i worked on archaeology data and research the history of an old house and helped move a one-room school house from the country into a town hall to restore it as a
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piece of art and county history and that launched my lifelong career into historic preservation. i know you are interested in history and have study particularly, i think i have read, president lincoln and the he created a cabinet and so on. i know you value our nation's history. what are your thoughts about what we are doing in your administration to invest in preserving our nation's history and our historic places and one model job that general idea is that all the studies show that renovating existing buildings and restoring historic buildings is more labour- intensive than materials intensive and creates more jobs, local jobs for local people maybe that would be part of your jobs strategy. >> i am a huge poster of
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historic preservation. if i wasn't, michelle would get on because in chicago she used to be on the historic commission there. we live in a landmark district in chicago. this is something that we care deeply about. i would broaden the point to ssay that not only should we be thinking about historic preservation, which also be thinking about our national parks, our national forests. there is this treasure we inherited from the previous generation dating back to teddy roosevelt. that requires us to continually renewed that commitment to our historic structures and our natural resource base so that
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when trevor and bolivia -- and olivia and when you have your grandkids, that is there for them, too. we have actually tried to ramp up our commitment to these issues. where we can put a little bit more money into it but a lot of as much as more money, it is more planning. the recovery act gave a range of grants to state and local governments in some cases around preservation issues. one other point i want to make -- you mentioned how renovation oftentimes will actually generate more jobs than new construction -- a related idea is what we can do to make our existing buildings and housing stock more energy-efficient.
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it turns out that we could probably cut about 1/3 of our total energies just on efficiency. we would not need new technologies or invent some fancy new fusion energy or anything. if we just took our existing building stock in homes and insulated them, had new windows , schools, hospitals, a lot of big institutions, we could squeeze huge efficiencies out. of the -- out of that. that would benefit everybody. that would mean that over time we would be helping to save the planet by reducing our carbon footprint. people would be paying less on their electricity bills and heating bills and their air- conditioning bills. it helps consumers. the reason we have not done more of this is because it requires
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capital on the front and. many school districts would love to retrofit their schools but they are having problems just keeping teachers on payroll right now they always put up those investments. one thing we have tried to do to recovery act and something that i know jerry and jim have been interested in home star, is essentially provide families as well as small businesses as well as institutions like schools or hospitals grants up front where we say we will give you $10,000 to retrofit your building or your house and then you will pay us back through your savings on utilities over a five- p yeareriod so that over time it does not cost taxpayers a lot of money but we're giving money up front that will then be recouped.
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there are many ideas we can pursue on that front that could make a difference. and that could put a lot of people back to work whether they are the folks selling the insulation at home depot or the small contractor who was remodeling kitchens are putting in home additions, may be that business has dried up. this would be a new area for them to get put to work. about one out of four construction -- jobs that have been lost during this recession are related to the construction industry in some fashion. those folks have been hit harder than just about anybody else. this would be an important boost for them. >> can i add one thing to that? does not necessary to replace windows to get them energy- efficient. the caulking gun is important. >> cau forlkers, absolutely.
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>> i am a neighbor and welcome to your neighborhood that was such a beautiful never let them. >> i would like to say hi to my kids. >> tell everyone i said hi. >> i may union side labor attorney in d.c. your comments here today and your labor day, it struck me and my colleagues about the shrinking middle class. all about the jobs that or lost and how you and your administration will replace those jobs. i work every day with working- class blue-collar workers and deal with many issues. one issue that is dear to my heart and many of my colleagues and union members is the employee free choice act. for people who don't know about it, it is an act -- and act -- a
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law that would make it easier to unionize. it is true that unionized employees get better wages and better benefits. it has not been passed yet and i just wanted to hear your thoughts on that them. >> a little bit of background on this -- the employee free choice act is in response to 20 or 30 years where it has become more and more difficult for unions to get a fair election and actually negotiate with them. the laws that have been on the books have got more difficult to apply. many times, companies who may be good employers but just don't want the bother of having a union will work very hard to make sure a union does not develop.
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they will drag out the process for a very long time. in some cases, workers who are joining unions or want to join a union or are helping organize one may get intimidated. and so the idea behind the employee free choice act is let's make the playing field even. we'll have to force anybody to be in the union but they want to join, let's make a. easier -- let's make it easier. the short answer to your question is we are supportive of this. we don't have 60 votes in the senate, frankly. the opportunities to actually get this passed right now is not real high. what we have done instead is tried to do as much as we can administratively to make sure that it is easier for unions to operate and that they're not being placed at an unfair disadvantage.
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let me speak more broadly about the issue that just -- about the point just made. some may think we take for granted about because of the union, minimum wage, 40-hour workweek, a child labor laws, you name it, weekends. a lot of these things can about because people were fighting for them. they did not come about automatically and naturally. the other thing that unions did particularly in the manufacturing sector was it gave a base for blue-collar workers to get a middle-class wage that meant that essentially the guys working at the ford plant could afford to buy a ford. it increased demand overall and ironically, it meant that businesses had more customers and could make more money. we now live in an era of international competition. that makes it harder for businesses. i think we should acknowledge that business environment now is
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much more competitive than it was back in the 1960's or 1970's. technology has made it more difficult for businesses to compete. transportation has made it more difficult to compete. the cost for shipping big manufactured goods from china to the united states in high volume from japan or korea or malaysia or indonesia to the united states is cheaper now than it was. that means that we have to be sympathetic to business concerns that they don't get priced out of the market if they are competing internationally. i think the best way to balance that is to make sure that business interests in the united states and labor interests, workers interest in the united states are aligned. make sure that businesses are looking after their workers and giving them a good deal, but workers and unions also have to think about businesses and not put them in a position where they are essentially part --
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priced out of the marketplace. i think the balance is tilted way too far against unions these days. i think if we had some of these businesses with employees who were there for long term and were more loyal and were not worry about their jobs being shipped overseas that that would actually be good for the economy as a whole and with a good for businesses as a whole. we have to acknowledge that competition means that businesses and workers in the united states have to be better trained, better skilled, more competitive, leaner, meaner, and we have to invent more stock to the constantly are working on high and jobs as opposed to the low-end jobs. the truth is, the low-end jobs, we cannot compete on the basis of price. there'll always been a country -- wages are starting to go up a little bit in china.
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our problem is not china. the next problem will be vietnam or bangladesh. there will always be somewhere else in the world where they pay lower wages. our vantage it will be if we have higher skills, our work force that worked together more effectively, our businesses are better organized. if we have that, i think we can compete against anybody. a good example is actually germany which is a much higher rates of unionization than we do. they have actually been able to continue to export at high levels and compete around the world because they have such a highly skilled work force putting together high-end products that can compete with anybody. yes, right here. >> hi, mr. president. i'm so nervous. >> don't be nervous. >> i love everything you are
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doing. i love your vision. i'm glad you got into office. i love medical health care reform. when we have to go to the doctor, we go to the doctor will come from. if we needed surgery, we got surgery. i came here and found out you need insurance and you need this and need that which i could never afford and the salary i am on now. i am lucky my husband, unfortunately is in the construction business, but hopefully that will come back. i work for fairfax county public schools. i've not had a raise in two years. i may not even have a job next year. i hear it will get worse before it will get better. do you agree with that? i know we are starting to improve and jobs are starting to come back, but how long do you think this will take? >> first of all, you have a
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better chance of keeping your job in the public-school system now because jerry and jim voted to close a pretty egregious tax loophole that was incentivizing jobs going overseas and that even some corporations that stood to benefit thought was ridiculous. they close that loophole in order to fund teacher jobs and police officer jobs and firefighter jobs across the country. that has been very helpful in providing assistance to go -- school districts that are strapped. the economy is improving. one of the headwinds the economy is experiencing is actually that state and local governments have been getting really hard hit. we gave states a lot of help at the beginning of this crisis because their budgets or just imploding and typically state and local governments get it
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faster by declines in tax revenues and property tax values. they rely on property taxes and with the heart -- housing market collapsing, that was hitting them hard. they were looking at possibly slashing 30% of jobs and school districts. and in social services. one of the most effective ways of preventing this from tipping over into the great depression was giving them help. some of that help is running out. that is the problem. property tax revenues have not improved at current sales tax revenues have not improved at as much as i would like. local districts and states are still having big budget problems and will probably have those big budget problems next year. the challenge we have is ironically, if you start laying off a whole bunch of teachers or
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a whole bunch of police officers or firefighters, now they don't have a job which means they spend less which means there is less tax revenue and you start getting into a vicious downward spiral. the steps that we took were very important this is an example of where you just have a fundamental disagreement between republican leadership and democrats. john banner who wants to be the speaker of they -- next speaker of the house if the republicans take over, he specifically said these are just government jobs. he said they are not worth saving and the voted no on closing the tax loophole that was incentivizing jobs going overseas. smart from an economic perspective for us to allow the jobs in the united states to go away while we are giving tax revenue a way to companies that
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are creating jobs somewhere else. just doesn't make sense. we will continue to have these battles over the next several years. i think out state and local governments are able to deal with the budget specter will be in part have to deal with the people making decisions with jim and jury or whether they are john behner. they have a different set of priorities. i like these guys making these decisions more than the other folks. [applause] that's just my unbiased opinion. go ahead. >> thank you so much for visiting us here in mantua. we face a political environment that has changed since you are elected. with the upcoming midterm
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election, we can expect new faces in congress. the new representatives and senators have been elected on platforms and are opposed to government intervention in the economy. what is your plan for working with the new congress to make sure we get the actions that you see are necessary to end the recession and what do you see as common ground with republicans in congress for some of the solutions that can bring the recession to an end? >> let me just say that i don't believe in wholesale intervention by the government in the economy. it would make sense that we are in a free market system where small-business owners are creating jobs and what started off as a small business, like aol and it of being a big
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business and some kid at harvard starts something called facebook and the next thing you know, it has revolutionized part of our economy. that is our strength. that is a starting point where republicans and democrats should be able to come together. we always believe in that. there are some fundamental differences. at the beginning of the crisis, for government not to intervene when the financial system was on the verge of meltdown and we were shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs per month and the credit markets or collapsing completely, not to intervene would have been irresponsible. it would have been irresponsible and i don't know an economist, a democrat or republican, who would suggest otherwise. it would've been simply irresponsible. some of the steps we had to take
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had to do with emergency situations. a great example is the auto industry. when we decided to intervene, we have been bailing out the auto industry for years under the previous administration. we had never asked them anything in return for a day kept on with their bad practices. , creating cars that frankly in this kind of energy in varmint were not the cars of the future. the never change their practices. we said we will help you but this time we will help you by restructuring. we said we would bring the staples together, the workers, the management, shareholders, and we would save taxpayers are going to help you out, you have to change how you do business and they have. the march from bankruptcy and you have all three u.s. auto companies operating profit. if we had not taken that step,
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we would have lost 1 million jobs in the auto industry. you would -- maybe ford might have survived, gm and chrysler would not have. the ripple effects on the economy would have been devastating. sometimes you make these decisions not because you believe in government intervention per se, you make these decisions because we have a crisis and we have to respond. right now, we have a disagreement on taxes. jim, jerry, the vast majority of democrats think that because wages and incomes had flat line for middle-class families which we define as less than $250,000 per year that they should definitely get an extension of the tax cuts that were instituted in 2001-2003.
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if you make more than $250,000 per year, you still get a tax cut, you would only get up to your first to offer $50,000 per if you make of a million dollars per year, you still get tax relief on the first half of your income. if you made $1 million, it would be the first 1/4 of your income. after that, you go back to the rates that were in place when bill clinton was president. at that time, we had 22 million jobs created. it was much faster in, and wage growth and the economy was going pretty good. we could get that done this week. but we are still in this wrestling match with john behner and mitch mcconnell about the last three% where we would be giving them $100,000 for people making $1 million or more. that would be ok accepted do it,
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we would have to borrow $700 billion over the course of 10 years. we just can't afford it. i wanted to lay out those differences be for a talk to where we can work together. i think we can work together on the issue of our long-term debt. our big challenge right now is creating jobs and making sure the economy takes off. the steps that we have been taken -- taking, providing small business loans, accelerating depreciation, those steps to encourage investment right now. the cost some money but they are wise investments because right now our number one focus has to be jobs, jobs, jobs. and encouraging business
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investment. on verizon, -- on the horizon, we have a very real problem with the debt and deficits. i understand many people who are upset on the other side and some of them are rallying in d.c. today or yesterday. i understand people's legitimate fears about if we are hawking our future? they saw tarp, they sell below bailout and a look at this as a disease big huge numbers adding up. they are right to be concerned about that. there is an opportunity for democrats and republicans to come together and ask what are the tough decisions we have to make now that will not squash the recovery, won't lead to a
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huge number of teacher layoffs, short-term, we don't want to construct too much too early but out, get ourselves on a trajectory where we start to bring our debt and deficit slowly under control. i set up a bipartisan fiscal commission that is designed to start coming up with answers. they are supposed to report back to me right after the election. that was on purpose, by the way. everybody will posture politically but as soon as the election is over, a report to us and we will see the democrats and republicans can come together to make tough decisions. by the way, there will be some tough decisions. people have a sense that somehow if we eliminate a few pork projects in foreign aid, we would solve our debt. the big problem with our debt is
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actually the cost of medicare and medicaid, our health care system which is by far the thing that is exploding faster than anything and as the population gets older and is using more health care services, if we don't get control of that, we can control our long-term debt. that is why health care reform was so important. we're trying to make the system smarter that is only one piece. we have to look at defense budgets and food stamps, you name it we have to look at it and find ways we can reduce our costs over the long term. we cannot give away $700 billion to folks who don't need it. that won't balance our budget. will not happen. as one area where i think we can make progress. the second area is in energy. everybody agrees our energy policy does not make sense. we don't have an energy policy.
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we talked about since richard benson. remember opec? 1973. remember the lines of the gas station? every president has said this is a national security issue and a crisis. we don't do anything about it. my suggestion is left to join hands, democrats and republicans, and take the lead and try to solve this problem. there is not a silver bullet or one magic solution to our energy problems. we will have to use a bunch of different strategies. i already mentioned efficiency. that has to be a huge push. with respect to transportation, one thing we did without legislation, nobody has noticed this but this is huge -- we increase fuel efficiency standards on cars for the first time in 30 years, cars and trucks. we got the car companies and autoworkers to agree to it not
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just environmentalists. that will help. we have to look at nuclear energy. historically, many environmentalists say they do not like nuclear energy. there are problems with stores but we're concerned about global warming greenhouse gases, nuclear energy is a legitimate energy source that the japanese and the french have been using much more intelligently than we have. we have huge reservoirs of natural gas that are relatively clean. we have to use those in environmentally sound way. we have to develop those in an environmentally sound way. that is an area where i think we can still hopefully make some progress. the last thing i will say and some people disagree with me. they think it is too incendiary or politically difficult -- i think we need to reform our
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immigration system and we should be able to find a way to secure our borders and provide people who are already here a pathway so that they are out of the shadows and they pay a fine and they are learning english, getting assimilated, but they are not living in fear. we should be able to do that. we have 11 republican senators who voted for including john mccain. we should be able to get that done again. everybody agrees the system we have now is broken. one less than a want to mention his education. this has been one of the few areas where i have gotten some comments from republicans. -- complement from republicans. the strategy we have now which is to maintain high standards, work with states in a smart way to develop a curriculum, teacher
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training strategies, to boost our higher education institutions of higher education, that is an area where we should all agree. it is indisputable that if we are working smarter, if our kids are better trained, we will succeed if. if they are not, it does not matter what we do, we will decline over time. i have time for one more question. i will call on this young lady right here. >> i am really nervous. thank you, mr. president for being here. there is a lot of people sending you a lot of good energy. one being my 82-year-old lamont. aunt. i emphasize therapist. >> i have a creek in my neck. [laughter]
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>> do you get regular massage? >> go ahead. >> one prevailing theme that comes up in my practice is a fear. on an energetic level, what i would like to see you institute or get started bipartisan is to alleviate people's fears of spending $5. i know this sounds so basic but if we go out there and spend a little bit, it will come back around. it works. you have a program here where you are giving a tax break to those companies that hire the returning veterans. that is a $2,400 tax break. who are those companies?
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i would patronize a company making the effort of going out and hiring these people. you have to spend to get it back. there is a prevailing fear all the time and it comes down to $5, $10, what ever. you have to put it ou there. and it will start the momentum going. >> i think you're absolutely right that some of this is psychology. the country went through a huge drum up. -- trauma. the body politic is like an individual in the sense that if they prove through a really bad accident and you are in a cast and you have a little whiplashed and you are bruised and battered, it takes some time
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to recover and that is what happens to our economy. we went through a really bad accident. it was a preventable one, by the way, if we have had some more rules of the road in place, if we had better economic policies we could have prevented it. it is what it is. we went through this. you are absolutely right that now that what is holding us back is a meeting to go ahead and feel confident about the future. that is not the only thing holding us back. part of the reason people are not spending is because they have maxed out the credit cards and people quite sensibly said that this is a good time to reflect on the fact that they're buying a bunch of stuff that maybe we can get in the future but we were not quite there yet and maybe we should not run up our debt. people i've done that. people have been paying down
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their debt. a lot more over the last year than they had in the previous five or 10 years. many people were borrowing against their homes. home-equity loans. one thing that michelle and i always laughed about is that when people talk about us, they forget that we were basically living the same lives as john and nicole like six or seven years ago. i remember the first time -- we had a condo, initially we got higher rates because we bought it in 1993 and sometime around 1997 or 1998, the rates had gone down a couple of percent.
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we said it makes sense for us to refinance. i remember us talking to the bank and they said you can refinance and you can take some money out. i ask what that meant. they said the condo has appreciated so much that it is like found money. i remember thinking at the time that that does not sound right. everybody i think was so certain that homes were appreciating and they would always appreciate and so it made everybody feel richer. holmes started dropping in value suddenly and you don't have the kind of equity and people felt less wealthy. for 1 k plans have still not recovered. the college portfolios have not fully recovered.
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there are legitimate and real reasons why people have pulled back a little bit. having said all that, i wonder and on the point you're making which is that we have averted the worst. the economy is now growing. there are enormous opportunities out there. there are people who are inventing stuff that will be the new products of the future all across this country. there are young people who when i meet them, they are talented and energetic and they feel confident about america. if you travel overseas, as tough as this recession has been for us, the truth of the matter is that most countries still and the the united states. -- still envy of the united states.
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people would rather have the opportunity to prosper and the part of this great middle class of hours. this goes to the question of the previous gentleman -- what can republicans and democrats do together after this election? they can stop spending so much time attacking the other side and spend more time focusing on what is good and right about america and what opportunities we have. if we do that, i am confident we will move forward for a long time to come. thank you very much, everybody. god bless you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> ok. thank you, everybody. [applause]
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>> president obama rapid as discussion on the economy where he mentioned the extension of tax cuts with residents in the fairfax, virginia. on capitol hill, the ap reports that some republicans will oppose any effort to renew soon to expire bush administration tax cuts. if -- this is if upper income earners are not included. the have pledges from every senate republicans to filibuster president barack obama's plan to about the top income-tax rate to rise back to
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almost 40% on small business income over $250,000 and family income of over the same amount. if republicans stay together, that will deny them the 60 votes they bunny to push the measure through the senate. >> the keyspan network provide coverage of politics, public affairs, non-fiction books, and american history available to you on television, radio, on line, and on social media networks. finder content any time to our video library. we dixie spine -- retake c-span on the road but our mobile be cool. indices -- it is washington your way. c-span available in over 100 million homes greeted by cable and provided as a public service. >> the u.s. senate has returned from its month-long august recess. they will consider a judicial nomination before they continue
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debate on the small-business lending fund. it includes $12 million in tax breaks and additional support. you can live senate coverage on c-span2. the house returns tomorrow. members will begin with the resolution marking the anniversary of 9/11. they also talk about energy efficiency. live coverage on c-span when the house gavels in at 2:00 p.m. eastern. >> c-span local content vehicles are traveling the country visiting committees and congressional district has been that some of the most closely contested races leading up to this midterm election. >> first and foremost is the ibm that right now we have an agenda for american jobs. all lot of what i understand is trying to get washington and
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both parties to be a little bit more focused on getting things going in america again. everything would trickle down from the rest. >> those running in this election is a democrat elected during of obama's victory and leave 2008. against him is a republican state senator which is in the southern part of virginia. there's also jeff clark, an independent businessman and member of the tea party. this district race is getting a lot of national attention because republicans see him as one of the most vulnerable democrats and the congress given he represents a somewhat conservative district and that he voted in favor of his major initiative, health care, cap and trade, stimulus, and someone.
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he was elected by the smallest margin of any congressional race in the country. republicans see this as a pickup. democrats, however, say that he is a fighter and a tough campaigner. because he supported the same initiatives that he is getting the support of national democrats just as national republicans are trying to take him down. in 2008, he challenged a six- term conservative republican and beat him by 727 votes. this was the closest margin of any race that year in congress. some people think he just rode in on the obama wave. the virginia fifth district is fairly conservative. mccain won with 56% of the vote.
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it has become less of a republican stronghold. it is the size of new jersey and essentially it is a triangle shape with the charlottesville region which is where the university of virginia is and monticello, thomas jefferson's home, down to the north carolina border which includes danville and martinsville. martinsville, in south side, has been hit extremely hard. their unemployment topped 20%. it is bad but not quite as bad as elsewhere in the district. unemployment continues to be a problem throughout the district.
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there have been a number of foreclosures like everywhere. people who have their jobs, their pay has stagnated for the last few years. it is a big problem here. he is certainly a moderate democrat. some of the big-ticket priorities of president obama and the democrats, he has voted in favor of things like health care reform, cap and trade, clean energy built. he voted in favor of the economic stimulus bill. some say he is a liberal democrat because he supported the big-ticket items. on the other hand, he has broken with his party in some cases. for example, he does not believe that the assault weapons ban should be read implemented. he is a strong believer in second amendment rights.
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he voted against the budget because he felt they did not go far enough. he has been endorsed by the family foundation, the nra, all of the conservative leaning groups. a big part of his message in his run for congress is the federal government's spending is out of control and government regulations have gotten too onerous. if he were to be elected he would be working for lower tax programs for businesses and individuals. in the legislature, his record, however, has been a fairly next. while he has been hard in the legislature, he did break with this party in 2004 and voted for a $1.4 billion tax increase to balance the state budget. he took a lot of heat for that at the time.
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jeff clark running against not only the democrat, perrielo, which embodies the government which he views as a creeping socialism, but he also have to run against an established republican who served in the legislature for a number of years. jeff clark has struggled to have his voice heard. they do not want to allow him into the debates. while there are working that out whether or not he will be included in any of the candid it forms from now on, it is difficult for him. the only poll that has come out shows that periello is down by 20 some odd points. the same poll two years ago showed him down by 30 points but he came back to win it. if there is a thing we know in the fifth is that thing chant --
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things can change quickly and it may be more competitive than it appears. >> , a democratic senate and his republican challenger met in their first debate on saturday. it was organized by a coalition of businesses and local governments in western colorado. they asked many of the questions in this hourlong debate. this is courtesy of the rocky mount station in denver. >> welcome to tonight's u.s. senate debate between michael bennet and ken buck. bennet is the incumbent. degreeed his bachelor's and has a law degree from yale. he served as counsel to the deputy attorney general to the department of justice during the clinton administration. michael served as managing director and served two years
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for the mayor party chief of staff. he was then appointed by gov. richard to fill the u.s. senate seat left vacant by ken salazar. he serves on the committees of our agriculture, banking, health, and education. michael and his wife, susan, have three daughters. his opponent is ken buck, his republican challenger for the u.s. senate. he earned his undergraduate degree in politics in 1991. he received his jurist doctorate from the university of wyoming in 1995. in the 19 -- he worked on the iran-contra investigation. he worked as a prosecutor with the department of justice in
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washington, d.c. he later joined the u.s. attorney general's office where he was the chief of the criminal division. he has served as an instructor at the university of denver law school and the national institute for child advocacy. in 2004, he was elected for the county district attorney. ken and his wife have two children. , first of all, terry has been passionate about transportation is used for the past 20 years. she served on the regional transportation district court in denver and was voted one of the most 100 in-flight to people in colorado foxes first 100 years. she moved to grand junction in 1987 and has chaired a club to the's transportation committee for the past -- club 20's
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transportation committee for the past 20 years. our next panelist is clint and manages the colorado strides program which is designed to help rural communities recruit and retain for economic development, community development, and local leadership development. he serves as a board member for the colorado world development council. -- colorado rural development council. shane is based in denver. he grew up in the grand junction area. he served as the assistant director for energy at the colorado department of natural resources. he spent four years on the staff of club 20. our final panelist is a new ball
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there. she is the political director of abc news -- are final panelist is amy walter. to provide on-air analysis on world news with diane sawyer, "good morning america," and others. would you please welcome our panel. [applause] at this time we will ask the candidates to come down, michael bennet and ken buck. [applause]
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>> as with the earlier debates today and tonight, the process started with a coin toss in the back room. in our debate, can was the winner. -- ken was the winner. >> the winner of the coin toss, not the debate. >> that is correct. as a result of that coin toss, mr. buck as tourism -- tourism to the first in the opening comments. you have four minutes. >> thank you. that me think -- thank club 20 and the other sponsors and panelists for participating. i want to thank my wife who is here with me and is my main
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supporter as we have gone through this campaign. [applause] it feels very comfortable being here, michael, by the way. [laughter] 18 months ago i started a grass- roots campaign to urge everyone's support to be the next united states senator here in colorado. i've been to farms, factories, truck shops, and copy shops. i have heard the frustration of countless coloradans. there are concerned about jobs. there are concerned about the economy. they're concerned about putting food on the table and paying their mortgage. america has $13 trillion in national that. $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities. a $1.40 trillion annual deficit. it is so bad that the people in
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washington, d.c., have not even attempted to pass a budget this year. what do we do? we continue to overspend, overtaxed, and over regulate. i was in colorado this past saturday. someone yelled out, "ken, we need jobs." we need jobs. we will not get more jobs if we continue to overtax, overspent, and over regulate. the chore silly this election is clear. my opponent has become comfortable with the washington, d.c., climate. he is saying one thing in washington, d.c., monday through friday to increase taxes and spending. he says a quite different thing in colorado. in fact, he is preaching fiscal conservatism to us on sunday when he is back here. he voted for the 8 chartered $62
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billion stimulus bill. he voted to bailout automobile companies and banks. he voted to nationalize health care. yet when he comes back here and runs for office -- [applause] money comes back here and run for office, he decided that while we have $13 trillion in debt and nothing to show for it that it is immoral to place this that on our children. he is right, but he should realize that when he voted for the $862 billion stimulus bill. [applause] we deserve more for our cemetery and that is why i am running. we do for our senator. we deserve to make sure that the sea does not pick winners and losers. -- we deserve to make sure washington, d.c., does not pick winners and losers. collor out of families have to balance their budgets. the state of colorado has to
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balance its budget. the federal government should have a constitutional balanced budget amendment so it is required to balance their budget. [applause] my opponent has mentioned on a number of occasions that washington, d.c., is a corrupt, broken environment. i invite him to join me in calling for constitutional term limits so we did not leave people in that correct environment to a lot and they become corrupt. [applause] the last thing we need to focus is the jobs. we need to focus our attention on getting small businesses the opportunity to create jobs and stop putting obstacles in their way. people, there is a very clear difference between a top-down approach and a bottom up approach. i hope to earn your support to be the next united states senator from colorado. [applause] >> thank you.
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thank you very much for having me back in mason county. it is wonderful to be here for the 12th time in 20 months. i want to thank club 20 for having me back and i want to thank you to -- for sticking in here. i was speaking a lot about 9/11 today. it happened nine years ago. like all of you, like everyone across our state and across our country, i remember exactly where i was. i was on a business trip in an airplane in the mid-air when word came to the pilot that terrorists had attacked our country. they killed thousands of americans. i remember going home, because we came back, i was with susan and my two little girls the end is to be eight months old and holding her and watching over and over again the planes flying
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into the world trade center. i remember thinking that susan and i talked about how the world had changed forever. the world that our children were going to grow up in was a different one than the one we had grown up in. and what has happened. we have lost over 5000 americans in two wars. 81 column gratins --coloradans over the last decade. our economy has gone through one of the most troubling times in a nation boxing history. we are coming slowly out of the worst recession since the great depression. even before we were driven into this recession, if you look at the last period of economic growth in our country's and state boxing history, what you will see is that it is the first time that the economy grew that
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middle-class income fell. that has never happened before in the history of the united states. the cost of health insurance went up by 97% and the cost of higher education went up, i used as a 50% but it is actually 60%. we have created no net new jobs in this great country of ours since 1998. household wealth is the same at the end of the decade as it was at the beginning of the decade. that has never happened before. when the last administration went to washington we lead in the production of college graduates. today we are 15th in the world and falling like a stone. if you are a child living in poverty in our state in a rural or urban school district, your chances of graduating with a four-year college degree are
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nine in 100. i am being attacked by supporters of my opponent for having said what i believe is true. they must disagree. we have $13 trillion in debt and in my view nothing to show for it. we have not even have the dignity to maintain the assets that our parents and grandparents built for us. our roads, bridges, waste water systems, our server systems, much less build the infrastructure we will need to compete in the 21st century like transportation, transit, energy, infrastructure. when i have learned is the aspirations that our families had whether republican, democrat, independent, tea party, people are so much more important than the business of politics going on back in washington that i am so optimistic that not only this
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country can build a brighter 21st century that the colorado will lead us there. thank you for having me here tonight. [applause] [cheers and boos] >> as a result of our initial coin toss, we move into the next session of the debate. the first question from our panelists will come from terri directed to mr. buck. >> thank you, gentleman, for being here tonight. i am glad that you are there and i am here. a viable transportation system is critical to our national defense and our domestic economy. we funded our transportation system with a gas tax for many years. however, we have never index these taxes for inflation and we have not raise them since the early 1990's. congress has required vehicles
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to meet ever hired you efficiency standards while the demands on our highways have continuously increased. how you propose we find the maintenance and expansion of our nation's transportation infrastructure into the future? >> there is no doubt we have to find revenue from our gas tax. we will have to supplement that to a certain extent with general fund money. i am opposed to raising taxes. i want to make that clear. when we look at raising taxes, we will do the exact opposite that we need to do in a recession time. higher taxes mean less jobs. the jobs mean a smaller economy and we spiraled downward. we cannot, at this point in time, increase our gas tax. it is a very regressive tax. it was born and equally by those who have less. -- borne unequally by those.
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[unintelligible] it is a regressive tax. it is not a system that promotes wealth in this country. i am opposed to raising the gas tax. >> mr. bennet >> there is not just the unfunded liabilities, which are substantial, but we also find ourselves in a place where we have not maintained our infrastructure. i do not think there is any will in congress to raise the gas tax. i do not think that it is the right time to do it. we need to think about other ways to finance this. as the question points out, we are having more fuel-efficient cars on the road which is a good thing if you care about we leading us from our dependence on foreign oil, if you care about not shipping billions of
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dollars per week overseas which we are doing right now with our current energy policy to purchase oil for people who turn around and give that money to fund terrorism against us. that is why the efficiency standards are so important. me to find financing mechanisms, which we can do at the federal level, that enables public ivan profit -- public-private partnerships that will work in a much more expeditious way than the bureaucrats in washington could do. [applause] >> ok. our second question will be asked by clint. mr. bennet will be the first responder. >> i would like to thank you both for your public service. the health-care safety net refers to health-care providers that server underserved areas,
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medicare and medicaid patients, and the uninsured. rural health clinics are a vital part of the safety net in colorado. unlike federally qualified health centers, they have been largely overlooked in the stimulus package and in health care reform. what would you do to ensure that the rural health clinics remain viable and tried as they serve the health-care needs in colorado? >> thank you for the question. i have fought for the rural health care in the colorado. i have spent time with those who have pointed out the problem you are talking about. it is something we need to address. we also need to make sure that we recognize that we have a former 25,000 veterans living in colorado, one of the largest populations per-capita in the country. a lot of them lived in therural parts of our state.
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a lot of them are having a tough time getting access to health care because the v.a. is not where they are. i think we need more rural health care clinics. there are roughly 1000 being built across the country in rural america as a consequence of the health care reform bill that we passed. [applause] >> thank you, senator. mr. buck? >> if the question was building warm buildings, we could collapse. we have a $13 trillion deficit. this was not fixed by adding 16,500 irs agents to the federal government and it will not be fixed -- [cheers and applause] it will not be fixed by enlarging health and human services.
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i met yesterday with leaders in grand junction in the health- care community. it is clear to me that we need to get away from the fee-for- service model and we need one that improved accessibility. this can be done in grand junction. it is done with the bottom up model. and is not done with a top down model. it is embarrassing that the federal government brought an antitrust action against the grand junction because of their solution to the health care model. grand junction is operating under a consent decree now with the department of justice and the federal trade commission. we to empower local communities and rural communities. we do not need a one-size-fits- all answers from washington, d.c. [cheers and applause] >> we need to speak more
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directly into our microphones. >> i am glad you raised the good work at st. mary's hospital is doing. we need to see over the country what we are doing at st. mary's and rocky mountain hospital. it is exactly what we are trying to do in the bill. the idea is i worked on the amendments of that. they came straight from st. mary's and the rocky mountain. i am delighted you had a chance to see it yesterday. [applause] >> thank you. our third question will be asked by shane and first will be mr. buck. >> since 1964, 43 wilderness areas have been designated in colorado totaling over 4 million acres. in 2009, president obama signed
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legislation to establish an additional 54 areas nationwide and added another 2 million acres to the current 109 million acres in the national wilderness preservation system. congress is now talking about establishing more wilderness areas. what is your overall position on a wilderness area designation what would your position be on representing a gas wilderness proposal if it makes it to the senate? >> if you are wearing a blue t- shirt, do not vote. -- please do not boo. let's show respect. if you are wearing a white her shirt -- t-shirt, please do not boo either. >> i have to say they were not boeing, but thank you. -- booing, but thank you.
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who is year from western slopes? think you. -- thank you. >> the congresswoman from denver, the former superintendent of schools from denver and the former district attorney from denver should not be telling people in rural colorado how to take care of their land. we do not need president obama designating wilderness. what we need in colorado is a bottom-up solution communities come together and decide on land use, not a bureaucrat in washington, d.c., which is what has been happening. if we are going to limit access to our land in western colorado, we need to make sure the people in western colorado are on board with plummeting that access. -- limiting the access. [applause]
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>> if i get this wrong, let me know, but my sense of this is that you said you would never bow for this in colorado because i think that would be a shame. it is when the great legacies' we have in our state. i agree that these decisions ought to be made in consultation with people in the local communities, as i have done. for example, the legislation that i introduced to make him a rock a national monument, something that is supported -- chimney rock a national monument. my view is we should listen very closely to our local voices knowing that there will often be competing visions about what the right way to go is. that is okay. we need to be in places where we hear each other talk. that is why my favorite room during this campaign have been the ones where there are democrats, republicans,
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unaffiliated, and the tea party people. we stopped listening to each other and we really need to start again. [applause] >> thank you. mr. buck? >> an interesting position you take. there were eager for people who got together and worked on the base issue. what happened was that governor ritter and interior secretary salazar pulled the rug out from under them after they can up with a plan that environ missed, county commissioners, and local -- and local leaders adopted and you said nothing. he said absolutely nothing when the political forces in washington, d.c., and a denver pulled the rug out from under them on a plan that would have worked. [cheers and applause] >> the fourth question for the first round will come from amy
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walter and senator bennet will be the first responder. >> i like that you have matching outfits. [laughter] >> i wear the same clothes every day. [laughter] >> there is a difference in footwear. >> i cannot see that from here. >> do yours have holes in them? [laughter] >> i did not realize we would go that far with this. the question is about independent voters. the fastest growing block of voters are the unaffiliated voter does that believe either party has all of the right answers. i want to ask you both how to explain how you plan to attract those voters and give us specific examples where you disagree with your party position? >> i plan to attract them, as i
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have had, in honest conversation with them over the course of the last 20 months. i have not restricted myself to blue parts of the state. i have been to red and blue parts. i tell people to bring any criticism and ask any question. you cannot hurt my feelings. i also ask people to forget just for the moment what cable television network they watch so we can have a conversation. as i said earlier, our aspirations are largely shared. politicians in washington spend time trying to divide people. that is not something i have done. i will give you some examples where i agree with my party. i disagree on an attempt by the obama administration to change the tax treatment for the depletion allowance and other things that are important for our natural gas industry.
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i voted against that knowing that i would be tortured in my primary over it. knowing that they may not win every vote on the western slope, which i may still not. i thought it was the right vote for colorado which is the way that i look at these questions. i also disagree with the administration of the cancellation of the orion project which would have affected us. i voted to cap discretionary spending over and over again. i put in a bill called the deficit reduction act of 2009 that most people in my party did not like. there are numerous examples. if we would have more time, i would give them. [applause] >> mr. buck. >> i attract independent voters the same way i attracted republican voters and the way i hope to attract democrat voters and that is by running a grass-
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roots campaign aide meeting with everyone in the coffee shops, truck stops, and all across the state. i will meet with them one-on-one and listen to their concerns. even if i do have a democratic tracker that will photograph me in a way that will be deceitful. how do i disagree with my party? i can tell you right now that i have said 500 or 600 times that republicans are every bit as much to blame for the mess we are in as democrats. [applause] while the republicans brought some responsibility to the clinton years, they acted irresponsibly in the bush years. we had deficit spending and republicans, not quite the deficit spending we have now, but it was still deficit spending. we have no business saying to our democratic friends it is ok to rate the treasury for our friends, but not ok if you raise it for your friends. it is fundamentally wrong and we
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need to change the culture in washington, d.c., if we want to give this country back on track. [cheers and applause] >> senator? >> i do not need to rebut that, that notcerely agree everything he has said has been sincerely honest. he says i say one thing here and another thing in washington. i certainly disagree. you do not need to leave the state the same one thing different in one place and something else over here. he said a whole bunch of things that were supported by washington outside money. that changed his tune. that is what politicians do. >> now we will go through the cycle of analysts again. terri will ask her first
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question. >> iran represents a major threat to peace and security in our world. they have made clear their intentions toward our ally, israel, by threatening to wipe their country off the face of the earth. iran aspires to get nuclear weapons and may be successful in gathering material. if they do, the consequences for world peace are grim. what additional action, if any, should the u.s. take to deal with this very real threat? >> we absolutely, positively cannot allow iran to have a nuclear weapon. period. end of story. we need to step up sanctions. we cannot rely on the united nations to be the lead in this area. we need to take the bull by the horns and make sure we do that. [applause] if, and only if come economic
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sanctions and other sanctions that we try do not take -- do not work, then we need to work at military options. it is absolutely imperative. iran will change the balance of power in the middle east if they get a nuclear weapon. we need the strength to either support our ally, israel, in taking military action or take action themselves. we have to much at stake. why? we have created an energy dependency on the middle east. there are many reasons beyond just our strong ally in the middle east, israel. the fact remains that we cannot allow them to have a nuclear weapon. ]cheers and applause >> senator? >> i largely agree with what he said. i will start at the end and say that i find a disgraceful that we have an energy policy in this country that requires us to ship
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millions of dollars per week to the persian gulf as i said earlier instead of creating jobs here in the united states. i cannot think of a better legacy we could leave our children than to break their reliance on foreign oil. as long as i have their working for you, i will be working to do that. we cannot let iran get a nuclear weapon or build one. i have been pleased to vote for sanctions legislation that passed the senate. it is a law that came out of one of the committees that i am on. we need to make sure the sanctions are implemented strongly, wisely, and well by now just the united states but the chinese and other people around the world we need to worry about so we can shut off the ability of iran to refine petroleum and build new refineries. i would not take any option off the table including a military option to stop them from building a nuclear weapon. [applause]
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>> thank you, senator. >> how can you talk about energy independence and support cap and trade at the same time? it makes no sense to me at all. [applause] we have the capacity to produce a lot more coal in the state of colorado, create a lot more jobs in the state of colorado when clean coal technology is on the horizon. we should pursue that. it would seem negated by a cap and trade bill. [applause] >> thank you. clint at the second question and the senator will be the first responder. >> usda development has identified several tellers as focal point for rural america like food assistance, economic development, energy development, transmission, and abroad and access. how, specifically, would you work to help u.s. the world
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almanac and other federal, state, and local developments enhance rural communities? >> i appreciate the breadth of the question. rural communities in our state are suffering much greater hardships than our urban communities going through this incredible recession. it is not just about opening markets for crops and livestock, which is a huge piece of it. it is not just about getting credit flowing again to our farmers and ranchers, but that is a huge piece of it. it is about the food systems. it is it broadly speaking energy development and all of that. i have worked especially hard to try and get broadband access to our rural communities so that small businesses can compete with any business across the world and that our children going to schools in rural
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colorado have the benefit of a world-class education. i saw a math class being taught to children in their school, actually young adults, but also four counties of the same time. it was a higher level math that i had ever seen in the school district i've worked in that had 75,000 children. there is a huge promise here if we can build broadband across our state. [applause] >> ken? >> i live in rural town lot -- rural colorado. we have more jackalopes than people. economic development is key. my wife works for governor owens for economic development. we need to make sure we are encouraging farmers to diversify the crops they grow.
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there has been some examples of farmers who have grown corn for generations and have diversified into sunflowers and other areas who have the found markets for products that increase their profitability. one of the problems we have in this state is that much of our economic development focus is on the front range. we need to find ways to encourage businesses to move to more rural areas said they can stay afloat. in the eastern plains, we have so many communities literally dying. their populations are decreasing in a rapid rate. we cannot continue to let that happen. the diversity in our state between our urban centers, suburban centers, and our rural areas makes this a great. we need to continue to help our rural areas. [applause] >> thank you.
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senator? >> i want to clear up one piece for the record. a few minutes ago can said why but i support cap and trade. i did not support cap and trade that passed the house. it is unproductive conversation to be fighting about cap and trade or cap and dividend. what should -- but we should be talking about is how to break our lights on foreign oil, how to create jobs in the united states, and how to burn cleaner energy and conserve the energy we have. rural colorado would benefit of what if we focused on the question of how to produce energy in the united states, natural gas, wind, solar, and biofuel. [applause] >> shane is next. mr. buck will respond first. >> thank you. this is a nice segue. the united states does not have
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a strategic national energy plan in place. as a result, specific legislative attempts to legislate or create new world in the game, climate change, carbon image -- carbon emissions reduction, and others are seen as reactionary and industry targeted. what do you believe should be the cornerstone of a national energy plan? how would you balance renewable energy with the development of domestic fossil fuel resources as a part of this plan? >> is this for me? >> i am in favor of an all of the above energy plan. we have to look at renewable and great energy. with abundant fossil fuels in this state. we have abundant coal, natural gas, and oil. we are finding new oil fields regularly. without one a few months ago -- we found one a few months ago. we need to take a better to but we have and put people to work
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developing energy. we cannot let the federal government based on proven science are need to develop energy in this state. we have had clean coal technology. is five or six years away from being much more environmentally friendly than it is now. we have natural gas resources that will power the western united we have to focus on all of the above energy policy and we cannot allow the federal government to pick winners and losers in the energy sector. we cannot allow the state government to do the same. it is wrong and it is inefficient. [applause]
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>> i really appreciate the way you phrased the question. i think that has been a huge problem with the energy debate in washington. i tried very hard not to contribute to this problem and continue to focus our attention on what is the nature of the problem we're trying to solve. it is exactly the opposite of what the folks in washington do. they find a solution that some lobbyists brings in and says, here is the solution to a problem that may or may not exist. no one in business does it that way. a nonprofit nor a hospital does it that way. my whole career was the outside of politics before i took this job. i never approach my work that way. so the question of perspective is the way we are doing it right now. it would be a mistake to not think that losers and winners
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are not being picked right now. big oil, major oil companies, have a real interest in making sure that we do not get to natural gas in our state. i can assure you of that. otherwise, 18-wheeler across this country would be running on natural gas today, which is actually cheaper for that purpose than imported oil. i look forward to working with everybody across our state to make sure we are driving this new energy economy. [applause] >> you have time for rebuttal. >> let's make sure, senator, when we are working with everybody that we are not driving higher costs in this state. that is exactly what we will get with the type of environmental legislation that you have supported in the past and that your party has supported and that the folks in b.c. are trying to ram down our throats. we are an energy-rich state. we need to focus on clean, environmentally-friendly energy development.
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[applause] >> our last question will be asked by amy walter. >> my question is about the bush tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of this year. my question for both of you is do you support extending the tax cuts, including those affecting individuals making more than $200,000 a year or families making more than $250,000? i would also like you to explain how it would be fiscally responsible. >> most republicans and democrats are to blame for the mess that we are in today. you look at the tax cuts and they are the first tax cuts and our history where we cut taxes while we were fighting a war.
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in this case, it was two wars. which is how we went from $500 billion in debt to more than $3 trillion debt. i would be open if there was a compromise to work with the other party to see whether we can do something on the ones for people who have higher- income as well temporarily. they're not paid for. cutting taxes from the very wealthiest americans, borrowing from the chinese to pay for it, and sticking your kids with the bill is not what i would call fiscal responsibility. [applause] we have to deal with these issues and find a way, as they expire, but ultimately. i am very interested at looking at --i have been looking at how we cut taxes on small business
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and people who are creating jobs in the united states so that we can create an economy that is not just about consumer spending, not just about debt, but is about saving and growing. our tax policy should derive that. [applause] >> i think what we are debating has nothing to do with president bush and has nothing to do with tax cuts. it has to do with whether or not the government is entitled to your money or whether you are entitled to your money. [applause] my view is that you are entitled to your money. instead of the senator talking about the tax cuts, maybe he can tell us where families should be cutting to make up for the increase in taxes that they will have to pay. the simple economic fact is that, as we increase taxes, we decrease jobs. we are in a recession right now and we do not want to decrease jobs.
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the folks who make over two hundred thousand dollars are often the folks that hire the folks making under $200,000. [applause] if we increase taxes on those folks, they will hire less and we will not get out of this recession and we will not improve the unemployment situation. i will tell you exactly why i think it is a prudent decision to maintain the tax structure we have right now. we need to cut spending. that is where we balance the budget. we do not balance the budget on the backs of americans who are paying higher taxes. we cut spending and balance the budget. >> thank you. senator. >> bush is not relevant to this either, i agree. but you are advocating the same policies that led us here. on top of that, to advocate or to support or to propose -- we will figure out of the verb -- a new federal sales tax that
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will raise the sales tax for middle-class people is a huge mistake. furthermore, what we are not entitled to is to leave their children with a $13 trillion debt. you can say that we will cut all the taxes, but we will not. my daughter says she is not paying a dime. >> we are going into the final portion of our debate. based on the coin toss earlier today, senator bennett will be in charge of the first four- minute session. are you clear on how this operates? >> we will figure it out. [laughter] >> as i have said, i think that the economy ought to be job number one and we need to deal with our deficit and our debt. i think there should be tax relief for small business owners and farmers.
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it should make it more affordable for people who have conservation easement and hand their land down to their families. help small business by allowing longer amortization for loans from community banks and make it easier to meet capital requirements, spurring incentives and innovation with tax incentives for high- technology research by 3 authorizing the expired research tax cut. on the other hand -- >> i want to remind you that this is a question and answer portion. >> right. on the other hand, you said that the best plan is paul ryan's plan. the problem is that that plan would mean higher taxes for 75% of americans and huge tax cuts to the very wealthiest, eliminating health care and social security, eliminating all corporate income-tax --
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>> your question? >> he suggests that we can balance the budget with these tax cuts. it would not balance until 200063. that is unacceptable. my question to you is what more would you do that is proposed in paul ryan plan to balance this budget? >> first of all, what i said is that i respected paul ryan for putting something on the table. there are too many people back in washington, d.c. who will not answer simple questions, like where they are on card check, for example. [laughter] it is easy to criticize an individual like paul ryan for putting something on the table. as i have said a number of times, i do not agree with many of the proposals in his plan. but even his plan does not
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balance this budget and does not get us out of this debt until 2063. i agree with you. that is unacceptable. i think what we do, if we will get out of the situation, is to grow our economy. we have to strive for energy independence and stop the large transfer of wealth in our country's history, in the world history, frankly, to oil- producing countries. we can lower the corporate tax. so we can compete in an arafat -- in international markets and bring manufacturing jobs back to this country. we stop over regulating with epa regulations. and we do what we need to do to grow this economy so that we have a larger tax base and get out of the mess that we are in. it is not a mess that you caused or that i caused -- other than
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your last 18 months -- it is not something either one of the cause. [applause] >> i think you're right. i did not cause this mess. neither did you. i just want to get out of it. what you said was "the best plan i sought to balance the budget is paul ryan's plan," which is fine. it is just not going to work. tax cuts, i am all for that. but the reality is that 70% of our operating budget is a non- defense discretionary funding. 18% is defense spending. 65% is medicare-medicaid, social security, and interest on our debt. we need to have a serious conversation -- >> mr. buck, you can control the next four minutes. >> senator, the commercial that
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you have run against me, you have spent about $1 million in that commercial. the channel 4, channel 7, and channel and nine fat checks say that that commercial is misleading, it is false, and deceitful. "the denver post" this morning said that it was "misleading and fundamentally unfair." one part of the ad is a complete falsehood. my question to you is, based on independent analysis, would you agree, based on independent analyses, would you agree to take that ad down? >> i will not. [applause] i stand by the ad. i think that they did not know which ken buck they were fact checking. i saw that article this morning. here is what we said.
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department of education, question, this was that burlington college -- >> let me follow-up, senator. you have answered the question. >> no. >> that was the question. >> you're saying everyone else is wrong and you're right. channel 4 and channel 7 and channel 9 are wrong. and you are right. >> they are mistaken. they are mistaken. it is an honest mistake. >> everyone is mistaken but you. >> question, you mentioned education, would you be in favor of a policy of education at the federal level? you said, i would be in favor. that was burlington community college. student loans? you said, there are some programs in higher education that we can get rid of tomorrow. by the way, i believe that is true.
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there are other programs that will have to take some time to get rid of like student loans. >> you have just introduced a rule to stop filibustering. so let's try to do that now. [applause] >> senator. i will help with that bill also. >> all right. >> how much time do i have left? a minute and a half, good. this is a true/false. you can answer yes or no. is it true that you gave $1.5 million to an airport named after congressman john murtha from pennsylvania that serves fewer than 20 people per day. -- per day? >> i am sure that that was contained in legislation that i voted on, but was not of interest to me.
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[groans from the audience] >> the $1.5 million is of interest to all of us. [cheers and applause] >> i am sorry, i thought you were trying to suggest that i did it because it has something to do with john murtha. so i misunderstood what you said. it is the reason i have advocated earmark reform since i have been there. i have never supported and earmarked for a private institution. i am the only senator -- it is -- i list not only the earmarks that our request, but all the earmarks of my office. more than that, it is all about transparency, whether it is being done in the congress for in the administration, people are spending all kinds of money that they are not focused on. >> let me get the last word. i want to make a promise to you. i will not use your misstatement in a commercial. [laughter] [applause]
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>> will you promise for karl rove and all those people who are funding your ads for you? [applause] >> we will go now to closing comments. based on the coin toss earlier, senator bennett will go first. you have three minutes. >> thank you. that is one minute more than i thought i would have. let me just say thank you to all of you for hanging in there so late tonight. it really has been an incredible privilege to travel 25,000 miles in this state in the last 20 months to listen, to hear people. i don't give long speeches. but i encouraged debate and their criticism and their ideas. we all essentially want the same thing. but the time this stuff gets to washington, it is so screwed up by the special interests and the lobbyist -- by the way, i might be willing to think about
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a lifetime ban for lobbyists or term limits for lobbyists. [applause] but what we need to do is have confidence in each other, no matter what party we belong to, no matter what part of the state we live in. and we need to have confidence that all of us want to build a bright 21st century in colorado and this country. create the most competitive economy in the world, leave our children unconstrained by our unwillingness to make tough choices. as long as we are willing to go back to our basic values, we will be just fine. i said in my opening that, when we sat at our television on 9/11, my wife and i knew that the world had changed forever
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for us and our kids. but we also knew that the values of this country would endure, no matter what we say. it is the values of this country that allowed my mother and her parents, who survived the holocaust in warsaw, poland, to come to this country and start over again. they are the values that allowed them to build a small business, to educate their daughter, to help provide for their grandchildren. those are the values that we need to be focused on. generations of americans have faced even longer odds than the odds that we face. they have overcome challenges that, in their time, seemed impossible to solve. we can do the same thing if we stop screaming at each other, if we're willing to listen, if we focus on the facts, and a gain a shared understanding of
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the facts. i absolutely believe that this country's best days are ahead of us. so thank you for being here tonight. ken buck, thank you for being here tonight. and club 20, thank you for having me. [applause] >> ken, you have three minutes. >> thank you club 20 and panelists and moderator. it is a great honor to be here. i hope the evidence is evident at this point. -- i hope the contrast is evident at this point. we have done our best to run a grass-roots campaign with the integrity, not denying what the rest of the world sees. we have done our best to make sure that we have told those folks in washington, d.c., senator bennett and his friends, when the run-up a dollar trillion in debt, we protested. when they tried to nationalize
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the health care bill, we sent them e-mails. when we wanted to help with unemployment, we asked them to get off the backs of small business. when we saw the problems of illegal immigration, we asked republicans and democrats to secure our border. the funny thing is that they heard is, but they ignored us. on november 2, they will ignore is no more. [cheers and applause] we have a great opportunity with this election to give voice to those americans who have not given up on this country's experiment in limited self- government, who do not believe that america's decline is inevitable. we need to return to the liberating principles of our founding fathers, as it was for the most of this country's history, it can be again. i'm going to take an oath right
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here and right now. i will take an oath that i will not swear allegiance to the republican party in washington, d.c. i will not swear allegiance to the lobbyists in washington, d.c. when i am sworn in in january, maybe november, if senator bennett agrees to step down, i will put my left hand on the bible and raised my right hand, and i will take an up to the constitution of the united states, so help me god. [cheers and applause] in this election, we have a choice. we can repeat history or we can make history. my name is ken buck. i ask for your support so that we can make the history that your children and their children can be proud of. thank you very much. [cheers and applause]
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>> thank you so much. >> in the u.s. senate returned today from its august recess. senators are debating an appeal court judge nomination. you can see live coverage on c- span 2. this morning, "washington journal" dog with a managing editor of cq weekly. it runs about 40 minutes. host: david hawkings is managing editor of " q" weekly. at you expect to be on the agenda the coming weeks? guest: not a whole lot, to be honest. it appears officially congress is supposed to be back for four weeks starting today and tomorrow. increasingly the word from the democrats is they will only stick around for three weeks because so many members are equal to go -- eager to go home and campaign.
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they are off to a relatively slow start this week. the senate appears to have the votes to pass the small business benefits baltimore. one republican, senator voinovi ch from ohio, who is retiring this year, says he has no political reason not of the small businees so he will help the democrats to move this bill through cloture tomorrow, and that will be the marquee event in the senate. a house, almost nothing. the big bill on their agenda this week is to create a rural -- some sort of rural environment befriending -- friendly program. not coming back with a bang. host: taing about the possible extension of the bush era tax cuts. how does that play into the dialogue and also any real votes? guest: it is not clear to me and the people i talked to whether that will come to a head in the
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three weeks before the election or whether one side or the other will conclude they will have to extend that debate or delay that debate until the lame-duck session, which is inevitable. not th outcome, congress will come back appears on november 15 for at least a week or two then and then maybe after thanksgiving if they have a long been a list ofhings to do. tax cuts is the big deal between here and the end of the year. something has to get done, otherwise of the tax code will revert to the way it was 10 yearago. which is in neither party's best interest. host: and the discussion about the longer they wait to make any decisions, it actually will complicate paperwork, logistics. is that on the minds of people? guest: i think it definitely is. there is a cliche in the business community that more than anything else what they want is certainty. tax me, don't tax me, raise taxes, lower, just tell me what
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you are going to do so i can make my business plans accordingly. that is what congress hears more and more. they just want certainty so they can make their business plans. the paperwork and printing of tax forms is a relatively minor matter but it does cost some money and creates stress. host: how big of a political victory is this small business bill the senate presumably will take up? guest: i think the democrats will portray any victory as a big victory. small businesses are one of the big engines of the economy. certainly one of the big engines of the republican base. so, if the democrats can sort of neutralize small business and the orient at them by passing this little bit of help, it is a deal. it is not a big deal. it just a deal. host: winners and losers of the summer recess -- are people taking stock of who -- taking stock of who is coming out on top, the successful messaging?
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guest: undeniably the winner is the republican campaign operation. the momentum has clearly only on theiray. the democrats are trying to sort of staunch the fallout, the bleeding. they have done a little bit -- but i am sure you have had many other guests who are better informed that this then i am -- but all of the momentum race by race, if you look race by race as well as nationally, it is all going the republicans' way. host: looking at the level of productivity in the coming weeks, president obama laid out his own economic goals and ideas. 10 gain traction question on guest: there is just not enough time to gain much traction. the proposal from the president last week was a $50 billion transportation and infrastructure spending program. this is probably going to take
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the phone switchboard light up when i say that $50 billion in the world of transportation and infrastructure in a country of 304 million people is not that much money. it is sort of a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of transportation needs. congress every few years passes a big transportation bill was several times that amount of money in it. it seems to some democrats to be a little too late. and republicans just sort of rub their hands together and said, a ha, the president's proposal and everything is to throw more money at the problem. i am not sure there is going to be much momentum for that. to repeat what we have all known about t dynamic in the congress all year, it takes 60 votes to do anything in the senate. it is very difficult now for the democrats to come up wh the 60 votes because they only have 59 of their own and republicans a dead said against almost
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anything -- what i said about senator voinovich is a rarity and probably increasingly rare with each passing day. host: what is it congress should do in terms of the appropriationsnd things that have deadlines -- sort of the logistics? guest: the logistics are, you pointed to job one which is in theory, the fiscal year -- one fiscal year ends and another begins on october 1. just a couple of weeks from now. in theory. by that pnt, congress is supposed to have sent to the president of the president is supposed to have signed a dozen of different bills for these appropriation bills that keeps the federal government operating. it looks like maybe one of those will get done by the october 1 deadline. and the other 11 will not. at the very minimum, the president and congress would have to agree on a continuing
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resolution, kind of a running in place bi that will keep the government operating at levels of the fiscal year now ending for a week or two or three or four, probably until after the election when congress comes back and tries to cancel -- tackle this again. host: you can join the conversation with david hawkings, managing editor of "cq weekly." we have a story from the "cq" staff looking at "don't ask, don't tell." democrats were going to use this to pass the defense authorization measure that contains a provision repealing the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law. of the house passed its version in may but the prospects for
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taking of this bill in the senate has dimmed and there is a recent court ruling that has affected that. can you elaborate? guest: a the end of last week a federal judge declared it unconstitutional. this obviously continues b-17 years after "don't ask, don't tell" was created in a very sort of awkward and uncomfortable compromise between congress and the clinton administration. it remains a hot button in the military, and the socially conservative cmunity, the liberal community. it has inflamed passions on all sides. at the moment, i would say it is the thing closest to the congressional legislative agenda that speaks to the so-called culture wars we have been fighting in this country and they have been fighting in the capital for couple of decades. .
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we asked on friday, has congress ever not passed a defense bill? i think the answer is no. i think in the modern era, sooner or lat gues line. good morning. hi. you're on the air with david hawkings. caller: hi, yeah. the question that i would like to ask your guest, i want to know if he knows if the c.d.l.
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estimates that if the bush taxes remain in effect, that the budget will run up to $4 trillion. i want to get confirmation of that, please. guest: oh, you mean -- i think, crystal, what you're asking is, if the bush tax cuts stay in place, will the deficit run up to $4 trillion? i don't think that's the number. that would be about -- well, it would be quadruple what we're at now, so i don't think that's the number. i haven't actually looked at the charts lately. most economists and most official budget forecasters, the c.b.o., which is the congressional budget office, the o.m.b., which is the president's budget office, and even most independents believe that if the bush tax cuts continue in effect, then that will increase, that will tend to increase the long-term forecasts for the deficit, and you add up all those deficits, and you get the big national debt, which is now more than $13 trillion.
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there are some economists that believe that, keeping those tax cuts going and an announcemt that the tax cuts would stay alive would spur some economic development, which would increase economic activity, which would increase tax revenue, which would tend to bring it down. but that's, i think, the minority view. host: let's go to mary. understand pent caller in greenwood, indiana. mary, good morning. caller: good morning. i want to ask mr. david, the american polls, i want to know, do they really don't think that we watch tv. the republicans been saying no to this president ever suspects he been in the office. they haven't tried us do anything. they haven'tid nothing. so mr. president obama will be back in the white house. thank you. guest: ok. i think this is one of the great increasgly partisan
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capital. this one of the one of the basic partisan debates that's been going on for almost two years, which is who backed ay from bipartisanship first. each side thinks the other one did it. the president's view was that he made some overtures early on and that the republicans concluded politically that it was not in mile an hour best interest to help him out, and the republicans say the exact same thing. they say they reached out to the president early on, and the president concluded it was not in his best interest to work with the republicans. there's a famous story that eric canter, the republican whip, the if the republicans win control of the house, would certainly be a prominent leader, he was in a meeting over the economic stimulus bill and laid o a republican proposal, and the president essentially brushed him off and said, you know, we had an election and i'm the guy who won, so, you know, pipe down. but on the other side, the republicans have plenty of
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evidence to suggest the democrats backed away. host: a trying relationship, democrats warn obama that his dealings with congress have delayed the party's agenda and helped put hill control in peril. your reporters write about how, as they say, this is the white house design to have the best congressional relations in morn times. president obama was the first president in half a century whose previous job was as a member of congress, he drew on a lot of members of congress to work in his cabinet. u a chart of the people who have spent time on capitol hill, everyone from vice president biden, interior secretary ken salazar, rahm emanuel, what happened? guest: well, it's a terrific story by brian friel, who was sitting right across from me as a competitor the last time i was on this show, so we're glad we have him working for us now. and kerry young, and they -- they just sort of -- it was one of those situations where the
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more you listen to the subtext, as our reporters like to have the time to do, the more they sort of heard this surprising annoyance among not republicans, but congressional democrats in their dealings with the white house. it was anowance and surprise annoyance as the story says. a third of the cabinet was previously a member of congress, starting with the president and vice president. and then beyond that, dozens of senior congressial aides in almost every department had been senior hill staffers as the chart also sort of points out. and yet, they made some -- what congress has called continue to ma sort of rookie mistakes, want returning phone calls, you know, not consulting, want giving advance word when courtesy advance word when the white house was going to do something that congress would want to react to. and it has -- no one is suggesting that the president's legislative agenda has been run off the rail as a consequence,
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but what they are suggesting is it's made things unnecessarily complicated and sort of antagonistic and awkward. guest: andrew is our next caller, calling from louisiana, on our republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. host: welcome. you're on with david hawkings. caller: yeah, david, what i'm starting wit you know, obama made a speech, he said he pulled all the troops out of there. that's a lie. i've got a kid there. what makes me so mad, he's an envoy right now. when he pulled all those troops out, why did he pull the heavy armored division out when you leave all of your 50,000 there, ok? to me, he should have done it the other way. you get your other people out of there, you leave your heavy armored division there, you take -- we got two soldiers
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that just got killed there, ok? from there, man. we're supposed to have trained, ok? now obama says, you know, i got every bitf that heavy armored division out of there. he lied to the american people on national tv, so nobody can tell me any different from this, because i know that the kid is still there. guest: i think you make a very interesting int. and obviously there are thousands of people like you who have children or siblings that are still overseas, that the perception among the american people and some of the president's critics would say this is a perception that the president tried to perpetuate was that he had ended the war over there, had ended our military involvement, and
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that's obviouslyot ads simple as that, tt while the president did bring the combat forces home, there's still thousands of support personnel er there and that they've just essentially changed their mission or declared that they have changed their mission from a combat mission to a supporting of the iraqi government. it's a problem that i think the president will have to be dealing with for some months to come. host: we'll be talking more about the situation in iraq later on in the program. for now, let's go to baton rouge, louisiana, where joan is a democratic caller. hi, joan. caller: hi. how are you? host: fine, thank you. go right ahead. caller: i would like for him to explain to me, how can anyone call a tax drop? in other words, it was voted on for 10 years. then it was supposed to expire. how can you call that a tax
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increase? there is a business that says they're going to give you 12 months of interest-free, it on the interest-free credit for using their business of purchasing something. if you don't pay that out at the end of 12 months, then you have interest added. how can -- would you call that an interest increase when ey've already told you from the beginning? guest: that's an interesting way of looking at it. i think anybody who would see that would describe it as a tax increase. even if they knew it was coming, it was still increasing. there are others who make the opposite argument and say, if you then continue what is the current law, should you describe that as a tax cut. that's fair to describe that as a tax cut. it's sort of what the
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president's side would say, that the republicans want to cut taxes even further. so that rhetoric gets argued by the way. host: are there other items you are going to be tracking over the next couple of weeks? welcome to a vote on the floor of the house and senate, but are still going to be moving in committee, laying the ground work for movement in the future. guest: the cover story behind our cover story, which you kindly talked about, is a roster of actually three dozen of pieces of legislation that we had our reporters look at over the summer, the three dozen most prominent issues that congress was supposed to tackle or that they suggested that they were going to try to tackle this year. everything from the taxes wee been discussing to the appropriations bill that we've been discussing to some more routine matters, reauthorization of aviation programs, for example. another big one i think that came up just the other week, also because of a federal
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judge's ruling, not unlike don't ask, don't tell, is stem cell research. a federal judge ruled over the august recess essentially put a halt legally to federally funded stem cell research. and the most straight forward and simplest way to get around that ruling would be for the congress to enact legislation that they actually sent george w. bush twice and he vetoed twice, which would simplify it, but essentially lift all federal restriction. so this is one the house will pass in the next two weeks. agn, it's 60 votes to turn on the lights in the morning are required, it's a long shot. host: let's hear from george in fort edward, new york, on our independen line. good morning, george. caller: good morning.
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i don't believthat $50 billion for national infrastructure is a great deal of money. that's a minimal amount of money. also, i think 9 middle class isn't too harder, i think it's more like maybe below 50,000 to in excessive of 100,000. it seems like a lot of campaign recreation. it seems like campaigning is more recreation than doing their job. maybe if they spent me time doing their job than performing recreation. and also, healthcare, people -- i've heard it a lot here, that because it doesn't work in europe, it can't work here, and that we're the greatest nation in the world with the greatest health care. we have the most expensive healthcare, and who says that we can't take something that
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doesn't work, but somewhat works overseas, and make i work here? guest: george, think -- the point i want to pick up here is wh you said about campaigning is a little bit of recreation for these members. i don't think they view it that way, as sort of recreation or even, to be honest, very fun, especially if you're a democrat in a politically divided constituency trying to win re-election. but beyond that, that is a sort of rudimentary, fundamental, strategic decision that every congressional leadership needs to make every two years at this time, which is what do the voters want to see more? do they want to be able to turn on c-span, you know, at all hours of the day and night and see the roll call tote board i the house and senate counting up votes, which means that members are here in town, or is it -- because sometimes that's what voters want. they want to see congress hard
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at work solving the problems. this is not one of those years. this is one of those years wher congress is in such poor repute that many, many voters, most voters, the vast majority of voters, are disdainful when they turn on the tv and see congress working and say, i wish those people would just turn off lights and get the heck out of there. and that has the added benefit of allowing the members to take that message and then go ck to their distrts and shake hands at coffee shops or at least make tv ads. host: the situation for congressmen charles rangel, we are going to see that unfold a little bit this week. he goes on trial to stand for 13 counts involving allegations stemming from his financial dealings. what are we going to be seeing, and how will that either gum up the works or make tngs happen in the next couple of weeks? guest: well, the first thing we're going to see this week, even before that house ethics committee proceeding gets going, is we're going to see the results of the new york primary tomorrow night. congressman rangel is standing for renomination as the
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democratic nominee to, i think, it's his 16th term in the house. he's been around since 1970. he won in a primary by defeating adam clayton powell, the legendary congressman who also got into significant ethical trouble. he's now got several primary challengers, one of whom is adam clayton powell iii. it appears as though congressman rangel is going to survive that primary. he actually got a somewhat surprising -- surprising to some of us here, maybe not surprising to people in new york -- endorsement from mayor bloomberg over the weekend, who said that charles rangel was the go-to guy in washington for new york city and it was essentially better to keep him on the job than get rid of him. so assuming that mr. rangel gets through his primary, he's been essentially a lock for election in november. it's a solid 8 democratic part of new york city, harlem. and then the trial will kick into high gear. there is no indication that we have picked up that mr. rangel
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is interested in any kind of plea agreement or admitting to a lesser charge. he believes he's totally innocent, he's done nothing wrong, he made a very impassed speech on the house floor so that effect. so it will be interesting to see how swiftly the congress moves, becaushouse democrats, many other house democrats, feel he's a pitical albatross around their neck. they feel as though if they punish mr. rangel emphatically, that might help them politically, by showing that they claim that they were going to clean up want house, clean up, and then for the last four years, the republicans have been noting that the democrats have had enough problems of thei own, so this would be a way, to be honest,or the democrats to show they have some ethical spine if their punch one of their most powerful members. host: let's hear from bear i, a
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republican in fayetteville, north carolina. caller: yes, good morning. i have one issue really, and what i've noticed is there's a way that all the politicians act like we're too ignorant to run this country. what bothers me about that is they expect us to be start enough to unrstand whenever they throw these pitches at us, they think we're smart enough to understand that, but yet we can't go and phone in every morning and decide our own issue like we need a government to do it for u and then what gets me is the people they use to enforce these issues with the political and the military, you know, they create an economy where everybody has to join the military or starve or join the police force. and they use these police force and military against pr people in other parts of the world.
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guest: i'm not sure what there is to say to that other than you sound like a pretty dissatisfied voter, and i'd be fascinated to know who your congressman is and whether you're going to vote for him o not. host: you brought up the issue of international stage, where the u.s. falls on that. one thing that could come up with the start treaty. can you talk to us about what its prospects are and if it has any chance of moving. this is a story from "the washington post" today, it says the senior republican on senate foreign relations committee will present democrats on monday with his version of a new resolution -- or his version of a resolution of ratification for the new start treaty, which may offer the best opportunity to gather needed g.o.p. support for passage of the nuclear weapons agreement with russia. guest: i assume that's senator lugar, who has been probably historically the most prominent senar on arms control issue of either party in the last 20 or 30 years.
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he is eager to get this done. he is one of the relately few republicans whose eager to get this done. senator john kerry is chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, also eager to get it done. so this sounds like there is going to be a push. now, we have been jing a little bit this morning about 60 votes are required in the senate to get anything done. the framers of the conitution in their wisdom decided to make things even more difficult for an internation treaty. that requires 67 votes. so that means that, you know, that means thatight republicans have -- would have to vote for this. and the climate is such that it just -- it seems that that's a tall order, especially in the few weeks remaining. now, there's no hard deadline for this treaty to be ratified t. doesn't have to be rat feud before the election. -- it doesn't have to be ratified before the election. there are many republicans who ink that the republicans hav a chance to win the senate and that they could move this on their own early next year. so i would be, operating from
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somewhat of a position of norance here, i would say the odds of getting it done before the election are long. but with senator lugar making this push, that changes my mind just a little bit. host: let's hear from cynthia in st. charles, missouri, democrats line. caller: good morning. i'm calling about the bush tax cuts. in between 2006 and 2008, the bush tax cuts only created like a million jobs, and those were ike under the homeland security, when they created the department of homeland security, and over $600 billion went to china to build new factories and stuff. other jobs have been trickling overseas. they've been creating work for the chinese and other countries and stuff, and jobs are being lost here. we need a new manufacturing base, and i think congress should put bills in place to keep manufacturing here in this country, give incentives. as far as obama's $50 billion
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for infrastructure, that's way too smule. during the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's, america grew by leaps and bound because of frain structure. that's what we need to work on, and green jobs. guest: you are -- speaking he will againly right out of a playbook of aspects of the democratic party that say that th is -- that the president, for what he has done, in historic terms, the stimulus was a big and expensive bill, the economic stimulus package from early 2009, $800 billion or so designed in large measure to preserve and increase jobs, big deal. i mean, bills that have size don't come along very often. but there are some who say much more needs to be don and there's a compelling economic argument to be made for that, but obviously there's compelling argument to be made on the other side, and we're just in a matter of standoff.
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i think what -- what i think viewers sort of ought to be aware of, i think, is that no matter what the outcome of the election this fall, even if the republicans take control of the house and maybe the senate as well, it won't be by such enormous numbers that there won't be very quickly sort of a mile an hour or image debates we're having now. we're in a position in american history, like we were during the great society, where one side has such lopsided control of the process that they just will always win. we're in a long period and probably began with the divided 2000 election when there was a 50-50 senate as well as a disputed presidential election of very close balances of power. host: chuck in sarasota, florida, go ahead. caller: good mning. host: good morning. caller: i feel a lot of people talking, but it's a lot of half truths and not the full truth. the tax cuts, when they were
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enacted back in 20, were for 10 years before the administration has been handled a $1 trillion surplus projected for the next 10 years. now we're 10 years later, and you have a -- i don't know whether it's $700 million or $3 trillion deficit that's being passed forward. it's a big difference between a deficit that's going to grow every year automatically and a sur mrs. which was there to pay for the tax cuts. that's why they ended in 10 years. guest: well, that's exactly right, chuck, which is the rules of congress are that, generally, that you can't pass a tax cut or do anything to the buet that's going to last longer than 10 years, and when the big tax cut went through in
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the spring of 2001, there were big, big surpluses as far as the eye could see, and there was a general consensus, starting with the federal reserve chairman, alan greenspan, could the country could afford a tax cut of this size and still have plenty of money left over, and president bush famously said that he would promise to preserve budget surpluses unless there was a war or a national state of emergency or a recession. and, of course, nine years ago this weekend, september 11 happened, and we had essentially all three over night. so clearly when the tax cuts were enacted, it was per cede, there was a broad perception that the country could affor them. 10 years is a very long time in the economy and in national politics, and the situation has changed. host: republicans line, good
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morning. caller: good morning. i have two comments i'd like to make. first of all, the people seem to forget who got us in the shape that we're in now. we had thousands of dollars that -- host: touching on this issue that president obama talked about, it was the guy before me. but is that message effective now? guest: apparently it still does work in some parts of the country. ohio is one place where, for example, the democrats are encouraging the president to continue to blame as much as
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possiblen president bush, in part because so many of their candidates this fall are veterans of the bush administration. senatorial candidate rob portman, a bush administration, the budget chief, trade negotiator. the governor, the gubernatorial candidate was a republican for congressional leader during the bush administration who helped advance the president's budget. it's been pointed that it's surprising to me, because this is a country that,oretter or worse, has a relatively short memory clectively, and so i'm a bit surprised that after two years, the president being the president and, you know, taking ownership emphatically saying, you know, i'm in charge now, that blaming it on the bush administration is working. host: callers have been mentioning climate change, energy legislation, are we going to see any movement on that? guest: well, they're right to not mention it, because those
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are dead letters for now. there's some letter about an energy bill that would be so narrow that it would be not hardly worth discussing. right, this was going to be, again, for better or worse, the president came to office with a very ambitious legislative agenda. there are some who argue because he had such a big and ambitious agenda, he is not gin the credit for actually enacting three things, the economic stimulus, the healthcare overhaul, and the financial regulatory bill, which, whether you like them or not, they're going to be in the history books as major changes in our government's policy. as a result, there are some of his allies to say what about climate change, what about number four on the list? it would be historically, without much precedent, except maybe during the new deal and the great society for the president to have gotten four things done in two years. whether it exists, ihink
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climate change is off the table for the rest of his firm term. if he were to be re-elected, and there's a democratic surge in 2012, then maybe. host: let's hear from darlene, independent line. go ahead, darlene. caller: i think it's amazing that they get away for blaming bush for this recession when the economy was doing just fine up until 2006 when the democrats took over congress. everything was ok in 2006, and then democrats came in and wouldn't allow bush to do anything. and also, i would like to thank the republicans for saying no and wish more democrats would have had the guts to say no rather than allowing themselves to be brought out. guest: it's interesting you link the economy to who controls the congress. i don't think even most congressional leaders would strive for that sort of connection between their own performance and the economy. but it's an interesting observation.

U.S. House of Representatives
CSPAN September 13, 2010 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT


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